Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

A HOPE FOR POETRY: REMEMBERING THE SIXTIES

Written by: Barry Tebb | Biography
 There was a hope for poetry in the sixties

And for education and society, teachers free

To do as they wanted: I could and did teach

Poetry and art all day and little else -

That was my way.
I threw rainbows against the classroom walls, Gold and silver dragons in the corridors and Halls; the children’s eyes were full of stars; I taught the alphabet in Greek and spoke of Peace and war in Vietnam, of birth and sex and Death and immortality - the essences of lyric poetry; Richards and Ogden on ‘The Meaning of Meaning’, Schopenhauer on sadness, Nietzsche and Lawrence on Civilisation and Plato on the Theory of Forms; I read aloud ‘The Rainbow’ and the children drew The waterfall with Gudrun bathing, I showed Them Gauguin and Fra Angelico in gold and a film On painting from life, and the nude girls Bothered no-one.
It was the Sixties - Art was life and life was art and in the Staff-room we talked of poetry and politics And passionately I argued with John.
a clinical Psychologist, on Freud and Jung; Anne, at forty One, wanted to be sterilised and amazingly asked My advice but that was how it was then: Dianne Went off to join weekly rep at Brighton, Dave Clark had given up law to teach a ‘D’ stream in the Inner city.
I was more lucky and had the brightest Children - Sheila Pritchard my genius child-poet with Her roguish eye and high bright voice, drawing skulls In Avernus and burning white chrysanthemums, teasing me With her long legs and gold salmon-flecked eyes.
It was a surprise when I made it into Penguin Books; Michael Horovitz busy then as now and madly idealistic As me; getting ready for the Albert Hall jamboree, The rainbow bomb of peace and poetry.



Comments