School Poems - Poems For School

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Among School Children - Poem by William Butler Yeats

I WALK through the long schoolroom questioning;
A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
The children learn to cipher and to sing,
To study reading-books and histories,
To cut and sew, be neat in everything
In the best modern way -- the children's eyes
In momentary wonder stare upon
A sixty-year-old smiling public man.
I dream of a Ledaean body, bent
Above a sinking fire. a tale that she
Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event
That changed some childish day to tragedy --
Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent
Into a sphere from youthful sympathy,
Or else, to alter Plato's parable,
Into the yolk and white of the one shell.

III
And thinking of that fit of grief or rage
I look upon one child or t'other there
And wonder if she stood so at that age --
For even daughters of the swan can share
Something of every paddler's heritage --
And had that colour upon cheek or hair,
And thereupon my heart is driven wild:
She stands before me as a living child.
Her present image floats into the mind --
Did Quattrocento finger fashion it
Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind
And took a mess of shadows for its meat?
And I though never of Ledaean kind
Had pretty plumage once -- enough of that,
Better to smile on all that smile, and show
There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.
What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap
Honey of generation had betrayed,
And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape
As recollection or the drug decide,
Would think her Son, did she but see that shape
With sixty or more winters on its head,
A compensation for the pang of his birth,
Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?
Plato thought nature but a spume that plays
Upon a ghostly paradigm of things;
Solider Aristotle played the taws
Upon the bottom of a king of kings;
World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras
Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings
What a star sang and careless Muses heard:
Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.

VII
Both nuns and mothers worship images,
But thos the candles light are not as those
That animate a mother's reveries,
But keep a marble or a bronze repose.
And yet they too break hearts -- O presences
That passion, piety or affection knows,
And that all heavenly glory symbolise --
O self-born mockers of man's enterprise;
VIII
Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?


Comments about Among School Children by William Butler Yeats

  • Freshman - 532 Points Ray Burleigh (4/23/2016 5:27:00 AM)

    If we imagine that there is a beginning and end to things then this poem and the Lake isle at innesfree are the beginning of the voice of the 2oth century. And Yeats last question, which Auden, Pound, Williams, Frost and even Ginsberg have tried to answer: o chestnut tree, are you the leaf, blossom or bole? Is still unanswered. (Report) Reply

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Poems About School

  1. 1. Among School Children , William Butler Yeats
  2. 2. On Old Man's Thought Of School , Walt Whitman
  3. 3. Lines Written As A School Exercise At Ha.. , William Wordsworth
  4. 4. Address To The Scholars Of The Village S.. , William Wordsworth
  5. 5. I Dropped Out Of School , Brooks Reitz
  6. 6. My School Days At Nine , Charles W. Hall, S.A.
  7. 7. School Days , Jean Woodlee
  8. 8. School Time , Kim Ferguson
  9. 9. Ruined School , Le Huy Duc Julien
  10. 10. Memories (Of A One Room School House) , Mary L. Ireton
  11. 11. Off To School , Sarah Rodenburg
  12. 12. School Daze , Sister Joyce Schladweiler
  13. 13. Telling Tales Out Of School , Virginia Welch
  14. 14. School Rhymes , James Clerk Maxwell
  15. 15. Kitchener's School , Rudyard Kipling
  16. 16. A School Song , Rudyard Kipling
  17. 17. In School-Days , John Greenleaf Whittier
  18. 18. First Day At School , Roger McGough
  19. 19. Going Back To School , Stephen Vincent Benet
  20. 20. Come, Pretty School-Girl! , Henry Clay Work
  21. 21. The Old School List , James Kenneth Stephen
  22. 22. M. Degas Teaches Art &Amp; Science At Du.. , Philip Levine
  23. 23. The School Of Metaphysics , Charles Simic
  24. 24. Orphan School , Robert William Service
  25. 25. September, The First Day Of School , Howard Nemerov
  26. 26. The Junior High School Band Concert , David Wagoner
  27. 27. Public School 168 , Stewart Brisby
  28. 28. Stay In School , Leon Thomas Lee
  29. 29. The Village School Master , Rajaram Ramachandran
  30. 30. The Old Victorian School House , Julia Ann Holliday
  31. 31. School , Samantha Holstiene
  32. 32. A Walk From School , Nick Korsantia
  33. 33. A Poet! He Hath Put His Heart To School , William Wordsworth
  34. 34. The Prelude, Book 1: Childhood And Schoo.. , William Wordsworth
  35. 35. The Prelude, Book 2: School-Time (Contin.. , William Wordsworth
  36. 36. The Old Bark School , Henry Lawson
  37. 37. Going To School , Clarence Michael James Stani ..
  38. 38. The Latest School , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  39. 39. The Flower-School , Rabindranath Tagore
  40. 40. The School-Mistress. In Imitation Of Spe.. , William Shenstone
  41. 41. High School , Victor Osorio
  42. 42. Last School Year , Mischa Townsend
  43. 43. Evergreen School Days........ , Ravi Sathasivam
  44. 44. The Great Heros - Our School Teachers..... , Ravi Sathasivam
  45. 45. School Love , poet selvakumar
  46. 46. Bukowski In High School , Stephen Roxborough
  47. 47. School Halls , Elizabeth Walker
  48. 48. High School Mind Games , Elizabeth Walker
  49. 49. O The Pressures Of School , Fidelis Patronus
  50. 50. School , Krystle Newberry
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