Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

CreationEarth Nature Photos

Best Famous Teacher Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Teacher poems. This is a select list of the best famous Teacher poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Teacher poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of teacher poems.

Search for the best famous Teacher poems, articles about Teacher poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Teacher poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by William Wordsworth |

The Tables Turned

An Evening Scene on the Same Subject

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife: Come, hear the woodland linnet, How sweet his music! on my life, There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher: Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your Teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth, Our minds and hearts to bless— Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; Our meddling intellect Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:— We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives.

Written by Roger McGough |

First Day at School

 A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go.
(To go where?) Why are they all so big, other children? So noisy? So much at home they Must have been born in uniform Lived all their lives in playgrounds Spent the years inventing games That don't let me in.
Games That are rough, that swallow you up.
And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters? Things that carry off and eat children? Things you don't take sweets from? Perhaps they're to stop us getting out Running away from the lessins.
What does a lessin look like? Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass.
I wish I could remember my name Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies.
When there's puddles.
I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
The one who makes the tea.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees 
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam- ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.
) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

More great poems below...

Written by Walt Whitman |

An Old Man's Thought of School.

 AN old man’s thought of School; 
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself cannot.
Now only do I know you! O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass! And these I see—these sparkling eyes, These stores of mystic meaning—these young lives, Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships—immortal ships! Soon to sail out over the measureless seas, On the Soul’s voyage.
Only a lot of boys and girls? Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes? Only a Public School? Ah more—infinitely more; (As George Fox rais’d his warning cry, “Is it this pile of brick and mortar—these dead floors, windows, rails—you call the church? Why this is not the church at all—the Church is living, ever living Souls.
”) And you, America, Cast you the real reckoning for your present? The lights and shadows of your future—good or evil? To girlhood, boyhood look—the Teacher and the School.

Written by William Wordsworth |


An Evening Scene, on the same Subject,

  Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks,
  Why all this toil and trouble?
  Up! up! my friend, and quit your books,
  Or surely you'll grow double.

  The sun, above the mountain's head,
  A freshening lustre mellow
  Through all the long green fields has spread,
  His first sweet evening yellow.

  Books! 'tis dull and endless strife,
  Come, here the woodland linnet,
  How sweet his music; on my life
  There's more of wisdom in it.

  And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
  And he is no mean preacher;
  Come forth into the light of things,
  Let Nature be your teacher.

  She has a world of ready wealth,
  Our minds and hearts to bless—
  Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
  Truth breathed by chearfulness.

  One impulse from a vernal wood
  May teach you more of man;
  Of moral evil and of good,
  Than all the sages can.

  Sweet is the lore which nature brings;
  Our meddling intellect
  Mishapes the beauteous forms of things;
  —We murder to dissect.

  Enough of science and of art;
  Close up these barren leaves;
  Come forth, and bring with you a heart
  That watches and receives.



                  The little hedge-row birds
  That peck along the road, regard him not.
  He travels on, and in his face, his step,
  His gait, is one expression; every limb,
  His look and bending figure, all bespeak
  A man who does not move with pain, but moves
  With thought—He is insensibly subdued
  To settled quiet: he is one by whom
  All effort seems forgotten, one to whom
  Long patience has such mild composure given,
  That patience now doth seem a thing, of which
  He hath no need.
He is by nature led
  To peace so perfect, that the young behold
  With envy, what the old man hardly feels.
  —I asked him whither he was bound, and what
  The object of his journey; he replied
  That he was going many miles to take
  A last leave of his son, a mariner,
  Who from a sea-fight had been brought to Falmouth,
  And there was lying in an hospital.

Written by Roger McGough |

The Lesson

 Chaos ruled OK in the classroom
as bravely the teacher walked in
the nooligans ignored him
hid voice was lost in the din

"The theme for today is violence
and homework will be set
I'm going to teach you a lesson
one that you'll never forget"

He picked on a boy who was shouting
and throttled him then and there
then garrotted the girl behind him
(the one with grotty hair)

Then sword in hand he hacked his way
between the chattering rows
"First come, first severed" he declared
"fingers, feet or toes"

He threw the sword at a latecomer
it struck with deadly aim
then pulling out a shotgun
he continued with his game

The first blast cleared the backrow
(where those who skive hang out)
they collapsed like rubber dinghies
when the plug's pulled out

"Please may I leave the room sir?"
a trembling vandal enquired
"Of course you may" said teacher
put the gun to his temple and fired

The Head popped a head round the doorway
to see why a din was being made
nodded understandingly
then tossed in a grenade

And when the ammo was well spent
with blood on every chair
Silence shuffled forward
with its hands up in the air

The teacher surveyed the carnage
the dying and the dead
He waggled a finger severely
"Now let that be a lesson" he said

Written by Taja Kramberger |

Every Dead One Has a Name

Every dead one has a name,
only the names of the living make us falter.
Some names are impossible to utter without a stammer and a fidget, some can only be spoken through allusion, and some, mostly women’s, are forbidden in these parts.
Every dead one has a name, engraved in stone, printed in obituary or directory, but my name must be undermined, every few years soiled and substituted with another one.
A decade ago, a high-ranking party official warned me: Stay a poet, as long as there’s still time.
Still time? Time for what? I have also become a social scientist and an editor and an organiser and a translator and an activist and a university teacher.
Unbearable - all these things - all trespasses of the old parcel borders that were drawn by the dirty fingers of fraternities.
I air all the rooms, I ignore all the ratings, I open all the valvelets.
And they have put me out in the cold – like the dead.
But every dead one has a name.
© Taja Kramberger, Z roba klifa / From the Edge of a Cliff, CSK, Ljubljana, 2011 © Translation by Špela Drnovšek Zorko, 2012

Written by Primo Levi |

The Survivor

 I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.
The following are empty synonyms: man and beast love and hate friend and foe darkness and light.
The way of killing men and beasts is the same I've seen it: truckfuls of chopped-up men who will not be saved.
Ideas are mere words: virtue and crime truth and lies beauty and ugliness courage and cowardice.
Virtue and crime weigh the same I've seen it: in a man who was both criminal and virtuous.
I seek a teacher and a master may he restore my sight hearing and speech may he again name objects and ideas may he separate darkness from light.
I am twenty-four led to slaughter I survived.

Written by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi |

I Was Dead

i was dead i came alive i was tears i became laughter

all because of love when it arrived my temporal life from then on changed to eternal

love said to me you are not crazy enough you don’t fit this house

i went and became crazy crazy enough to be in chains

love said you are not intoxicated enough you don’t fit the group

i went and got drunk drunk enough to overflow with light-headedness

love said you are still too clever filled with imagination and skepticism

i went and became gullible and in fright pulled away from it all

love said you are a candle attracting everyone gathering every one around you

i am no more a candle spreading light i gather no more crowds and like smoke i am all scattered now

love said you are a teacher you are a head and for everyone you are a leader

i am no more not a teacher not a leader just a servant to your wishes

love said you already have your own wings i will not give you more feathers

and then my heart pulled itself apart and filled to the brim with a new light overflowed with fresh life

now even the heavens are thankful that because of love i have become the giver of light


- Rumi.
Ghazal number 1393, translated by Nader Khalili


Written by Sylvia Plath |

The Disquieting Muses

 Mother, mother, what ill-bred aunt
Or what disfigured and unsightly
Cousin did you so unwisely keep
Unasked to my christening, that she
Sent these ladies in her stead
With heads like darning-eggs to nod
And nod and nod at foot and head
And at the left side of my crib?

Mother, who made to order stories
Of Mixie Blackshort the heroic bear,
Mother, whose witches always, always
Got baked into gingerbread, I wonder
Whether you saw them, whether you said
Words to rid me of those three ladies
Nodding by night around my bed,
Mouthless, eyeless, with stitched bald head.
In the hurricane, when father's twelve Study windows bellied in Like bubbles about to break, you fed My brother and me cookies and Ovaltine And helped the two of us to choir: 'Thor is angry; boom boom boom! Thor is angry: we don't care!' But those ladies broke the panes.
When on tiptoe the schoolgirls danced, Blinking flashlights like fireflies And singing the glowworm song, I could Not lift a foot in the twinkle-dress But, heavy-footed, stood aside In the shadow cast by my dismal-headed Godmothers, and you cried and cried: And the shadow stretched, the lights went out.
Mother, you sent me to piano lessons And praised my arabesques and trills Although each teacher found my touch Oddly wooden in spite of scales And the hours of practicing, my ear Tone-deaf and yes, unteachable.
I learned, I learned, I learned elsewhere, From muses unhired by you, dear mother.
I woke one day to see you, mother, Floating above me in bluest air On a green balloon bright with a million Flowers and bluebirds that never were Never, never, found anywhere.
But the little planet bobbed away Like a soap-bubble as you called: Come here! And I faced my traveling companions.
Day now, night now, at head, side, feet, They stand their vigil in gowns of stone, Faces blank as the day I was born.
Their shadows long in the setting sun That never brightens or goes down.
And this is the kingdom you bore me to, Mother, mother.
But no frown of mine Will betray the company I keep.

Written by Anthony Hecht |

Curriculum Vitae


1) I was born in a Free City, near the North Sea.
2) In the year of my birth, money was shredded into confetti.
A loaf of bread cost a million marks.
Of course I do not remember this.
3) Parents and grandparents hovered around me.
The world I lived in had a soft voice and no claws.
4) A cornucopia filled with treats took me into a building with bells.
A wide-bosomed teacher took me in.
5) At home the bookshelves connected heaven and earth.
6) On Sundays the city child waded through pinecones and primrose marshes, a short train ride away.
7) My country was struck by history more deadly than earthquakes or hurricanes.
8) My father was busy eluding the monsters.
My mother told me the walls had ears.
I learned the burden of secrets.
9) I moved into the too bright days, the too dark nights of adolescence.
10) Two parents, two daughters, we followed the sun and the moon across the ocean.
My grandparents stayed behind in darkness.
11) In the new language everyone spoke too fast.
Eventually I caught up with them.
12) When I met you, the new language became the language of love.
13) The death of the mother hurt the daughter into poetry.
The daughter became a mother of daughters.
14) Ordinary life: the plenty and thick of it.
Knots tying threads to everywhere.
The past pushed away, the future left unimagined for the sake of the glorious, difficult, passionate present.
15) Years and years of this.
16) The children no longer children.
An old man's pain, an old man's loneliness.
17) And then my father too disappeared.
18) I tried to go home again.
I stood at the door to my childhood, but it was closed to the public.
19) One day, on a crowded elevator, everyone's face was younger than mine.
20) So far, so good.
The brilliant days and nights are breathless in their hurry.
We follow, you and I.

Written by Marianne Moore |

The Past is the Present

 If external action is effete
and rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as when in a Bible class
the teacher was speaking of unrhymed verse.
He said - and I think I repeat his exact words - "Hebrew poetry is prose with a sort of heightened consciousness.
" Ecstasy affords the occasion and expediency determines the form.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Father Death Blues (Dont Grow Old Part V)

 Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.
July 8, 1976 (Over Lake Michigan)

Written by Philip Levine |

Among Children

 I walk among the rows of bowed heads--
the children are sleeping through fourth grade
so as to be ready for what is ahead,
the monumental boredom of junior high
and the rush forward tearing their wings
loose and turning their eyes forever inward.
These are the children of Flint, their fathers work at the spark plug factory or truck bottled water in 5 gallon sea-blue jugs to the widows of the suburbs.
You can see already how their backs have thickened, how their small hands, soiled by pig iron, leap and stutter even in dreams.
I would like to sit down among them and read slowly from The Book of Job until the windows pale and the teacher rises out of a milky sea of industrial scum, her gowns streaming with light, her foolish words transformed into song, I would like to arm each one with a quiver of arrows so that they might rush like wind there where no battle rages shouting among the trumpets, Hal Ha! How dear the gift of laughter in the face of the 8 hour day, the cold winter mornings without coffee and oranges, the long lines of mothers in old coats waiting silently where the gates have closed.
Ten years ago I went among these same children, just born, in the bright ward of the Sacred Heart and leaned down to hear their breaths delivered that day, burning with joy.
There was such wonder in their sleep, such purpose in their eyes dosed against autumn, in their damp heads blurred with the hair of ponds, and not one turned against me or the light, not one said, I am sick, I am tired, I will go home, not one complained or drifted alone, unloved, on the hardest day of their lives.
Eleven years from now they will become the men and women of Flint or Paradise, the majors of a minor town, and I will be gone into smoke or memory, so I bow to them here and whisper all I know, all I will never know.

Written by Kahlil Gibran |

Teaching XVIII

 Then said a teacher, "Speak to us of Teaching.
" And he said: No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of our knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.
The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.
And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.
For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.