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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.

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See also: Best Member Poems

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.


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?


by Ehsan Sehgal | |

Attributes of a teacher

A teacher who does not possess intelligence, consideration fortitude  and affection tends to harm the talents of pupils.
Ehsan Sehgal


More great poems below...

by Ben Jonson | |

On Lippe the Teacher


LXXV.
 — ON LIPPE THE TEACHER.

I cannot think there's that antipathy
'Twixt puritans and players, as some cry;
Though LIPPE, at Paul's, ran from his text away,
To inveigh 'gainst plays, what did he then but play?


by Mihai Eminescu | |

OF ALL THE SHIPS

Of all the ships the ocean rolls 
   How many find untimely graves 
Piled high by you upon the shoals, 
   O waves and winds, o winds and waves? 

  
How many a bird that leaves its bower 
   And o'er the sky in autumn draves 
You beat and blindly  overpower, 
   O winds and waves, o waves and winds?  
 

Should easy luck or high endeavour 
   Be our aim it little saves, 
For you pursue our footsteps ever, 
   O waves and winds, o winds and waves.
Still, it is past our comprehending What design your song enslaves, Rolling on until time's ending, O winds and waves, o waves and winds.
English version by Corneliu M.
Popescu Transcribed by Oana Platon 10th class A Alexandru Papiu Ilarian " Highschool Dej, Romania Teacher coordinator: Cornelia Platon


by Mihai Eminescu | |

Solitude

With the curtains drawn together, 
At my table of rough wood,  
And the firelight flickering softly, 
Do I fall to thoughtful mood.
Flocks and flocks of sweet illusions, Memories the mind recalls, And they softly creep like crickets Through time's grey and crumbled walls; Or they drop with gentle patter On the pavement of the soul, As does wax before God's altar From the sacred candles roll.
About the room in every corner Silver webs the spiders sew, While among the dusty bookshelves Furtive mice soft come and go.
And I gaze towards the ceiling That so many times I saw, And listen how the bindings With their tiny teeth they gnaw.
O, how often have I wanted My worn lyre aside to lay; From poetry and solitude At last my thoughts to turn away.
But again the mice, the crickets, With their small and rustling tread Awake in me familiar logings And with poetry fill my head.
Once in a while, alast too rarely, When my lamp is burning late, Suddenly my heart beats wildly For I hear the latch-bar grate.
It is She.
My dusky chamber In a moment seems to glow; As if an icon's holy lustre Did o'er life's threshold flow.
And I know not how the moments Have the heart away to sneak, While we whisper low our loving, Hand in hand, and cheek to cheek.
English version by Corneliu M.
Popescu Transcribed by Delia Nita School No.
9, Focsani, Romania Teacher coordinator: Radita Neagu *


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


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.


by Arthur Hugh Clough | |

Across the Sea Along the Shore

 Across the sea, along the shore,
In numbers more and ever more,
From lonely hut and busy town,
The valley through, the mountain down,
What was it ye went out to see,
Ye silly folk Galilee?
The reed that in the wind doth shake?
The weed that washes in the lake?
The reeds that waver, the weeds that float?
A young man preaching in a boat.
What was it ye went out to hear By sea and land from far and near? A teacher? Rather seek the feet Of those who sit in Moses' seat.
Go humbly seek, and bow to them, Far off in great Jerusalem.
From them that in her courts ye saw, Her perfect doctors of the law, What is it came ye here to note? A young man preaching in a boat.
A prophet! Boys and women weak! Declare, or cease to rave; Whence is it he hath learned to speak? Say, who his doctrine gave? A prophet? Prophet wherefore he Of all in Israel tribes? He teacheth with authority, And not as do the Scribes.


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

 


by Alexander Pope | |

From an Essay on Man

 Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed today,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n, That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n: Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall, Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd, And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar; Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest: The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; His soul, proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, Behind the cloud topp'd hill, an humbler heav'n; Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd, Some happier island in the wat'ry waste, Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire, He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire; But thinks, admitted to that equal sky.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Little Big Man

 I am small because I am a little child.
I shall be big when I am as old as my father is.
My teacher will come and say, "It is late, bring your slate and your books.
" I shall tell him, " Do you not know I am as big as father? And I must not have lessons any more.
" My master will wonder and say, "He can leave his books if he likes, for he is grown up.
" I shall dress myself and walk to the fair where the crowd is thick.
My uncle will come rushing up to me and say, "You will get lost, my boy; let me carry you.
" I shall answer, "Can't you see, uncle, I am as big as father? I must go to the fair alone.
" Uncle will say, "Yes, he can go wherever he likes, for he is grown up.
" Mother will come from her bath when I am giving money to my nurse, for I shall know how to open the box with my key.
Mother will say, "What are you about, naughty child?" I shall tell her, "Mother, don't you know, I am as big as father, and I must give silver to my nurse.
" Mother will say to herself, "He can give money to whom he likes, for he is grown up.
" In the holiday time in October father will come home and, thinking that I am still a baby, will bring for me from the town little shoes and small silken frocks.
I shall say, "Father, give them to my data, for I am as big as you are.
" Father will think and say, "He can buy his own clothes if he likes, for he is grown up.
"


by Barry Tebb | |

WYTHER PARK SCHOOL LEEDS FIVE

 I stood there in front of forty-five faces

The first day of term, not especially fancying

"Exercises in Mechanical Arithmetic" and so instead

I read a poem from Kirkup in Japan, about Nijinsky,

Hand-written on a fan of rice-paper.
Thirty years later, taking a Sri Lankan girl In search of her first job around London schools, A Head-of-English announced "You wouldn’t get away With that now!" as though I had committed A crime-against-society.
I remember sending the boys out to change for P.
T.
While the girls changed in front of me, Was it some kind of incipient voyeurism? And Sheila, my genius-child-poet, about whom Redgrove said, "Of course you are in love!" Or was it the poetry, some kind of anarchy, "He’s quite mad about it and teaches nothing else", The barely literate student teacher said.
Wittgenstein alternated between junior school teaching And philosophy Leavis ranted but read poetry inspirationally; Twenty years later a stranger on a bus tapped my shoulder, "What you taught me at nine got me two O'Levels, That was all I ever got.
"


by Isaac Watts | |

Hymn 25

 A vision of the Lamb.
Rev.
5:6-9.
All mortal vanities, begone, Nor tempt my eyes, nor tire my ears; Behold, amidst th' eternal throne, A vision of the Lamb appears.
[Glory his fleecy robe adorns, Marked with the bloody death he bore; Seven are his eyes, and seven his horns, To speak his wisdom and his power.
Lo! he receives a sealed book From him that sits upon the throne; Jesus, my Lord, prevails to look On dark decrees and things unknown.
] All the assembling saints around Fall worshipping before the Lamb, And in new songs of gospel sound Address their honors to his name.
[The Joy, the shout, the harmony, Flies o'er the everlasting hills "Worthy art thou alone," they cry, To read the book, to loose the seals.
"] Our voices join the heav'nly strain, And with transporting pleasure sing, "Worthy the Lamb that once was slain, To be our Teacher and our King!" His words of prophecy reveal Eternal counsels, deep designs; His grace and vengeance shall fulfil The peaceful and the dreadful lines.
Thou hast redeemed our souls from hell With thine invaluable blood; And wretches that did once rebel Are now made fav'rites of their God.
Worthy for ever is the Lord, That died for treasons not his own, By every tongue to be adored, And dwell upon his Father's throne!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Why I Went To The Foot

 Was ever a maiden so worried?
I’ll admit I am partial to Jim,
For Jimmie has promised to wed me
When I’m old enough to wed him.
But then I love teacher, too, dearly, She’s always so lovely to me, And she’s pretty and kind and sweet-tempered, And gentle as gentle can be.
I wouldn’t for worlds hurt Jim’s feelings, For he never would like me again— But there was my dearest, sweet teacher, And I’d die if my words gave her pain.
“Two plus two equals what?” was the problem.
And I knew teacher thought it made “four”; But Jimmie said “six,” and maintained it As long as he stood on the floor.
And I saw I must soon choose between them, For I was the next in the line.
Should I side with my teacher or Jimmie? What a sad situation was mine! And just as my heart with that problem Of friendship was so sorely vexed I was called on to answer the other, For teacher had said, sharply, “Next!” It was then that the brilliant thought struck me, That by compromise I could contrive To hurt neither teacher nor Jimmie, And that’s how I came to say “five.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Emily Sparks

 Where is my boy, my boy --
In what far part of the world?
The boy I loved best of all in the school? --
I, the teacher, the old maid, the virgin heart,
Who made them all my children.
Did I know my boy aright, Thinking of him as a spirit aflame, Active, ever aspiring? Oh, boy, boy, for whom I prayed and prayed In many a watchful hour at night, Do you remember the letter I wrote you Of the beautiful love of Christ? And whether you ever took it or not, My boy, wherever you are, Work for your soul's sake, That all the clay of you, all of the dross of you, May yield to the fire of you, Till the fire is nothing but light!.
.
.
Nothing but light!


by Robert Louis Stevenson | |

Fixed Is The Doom

 FIXED is the doom; and to the last of years
Teacher and taught, friend, lover, parent, child,
Each walks, though near, yet separate; each beholds
His dear ones shine beyond him like the stars.
We also, love, forever dwell apart; With cries approach, with cries behold the gulph, The Unvaulted; as two great eagles that do wheel in air Above a mountain, and with screams confer, Far heard athwart the cedars.
Yet the years Shall bring us ever nearer; day by day Endearing, week by week, till death at last Dissolve that long divorce.
By faith we love, Not knowledge; and by faith, though far removed, Dwell as in perfect nearness, heart to heart.
We but excuse Those things we merely are; and to our souls A brave deception cherish.
So from unhappy war a man returns Unfearing, or the seaman from the deep; So from cool night and woodlands to a feast May someone enter, and still breathe of dews, And in her eyes still wear the dusky night.


by William Matthews | |

Misgivings

 "Perhaps you'll tire of me," muses
my love, although she's like a great city 
to me, or a park that finds new
ways to wear each flounce of light
and investiture of weather.
Soil doesn't tire of rain, I think, but I know what she fears: plans warp, planes explode, topsoil gets peeled away by floods.
And worse than what we can't control is what we could; those drab scuttled marriages we shed so gratefully may auger we're on our owns for good reason.
"Hi, honey," chirps Dread when I come through the door; "you're home.
" Experience is a great teacher of the value of experience, its claustrophobic prudence, its gloomy name-the-disasters- in-advance charisma.
Listen, my wary one, it's far too late to unlove each other.
Instead let's cook something elaborate and not invite anyone to share it but eat it all up very very slowly.


by John McCrae | |

Unsolved

 Amid my books I lived the hurrying years,
Disdaining kinship with my fellow man;
Alike to me were human smiles and tears,
I cared not whither Earth's great life-stream ran,
Till as I knelt before my mouldered shrine,
God made me look into a woman's eyes;
And I, who thought all earthly wisdom mine,
Knew in a moment that the eternal skies
Were measured but in inches, to the quest
That lay before me in that mystic gaze.
"Surely I have been errant: it is best That I should tread, with men their human ways.
" God took the teacher, ere the task was learned, And to my lonely books again I turned.


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.
Lessin.
What does a lessin look like? Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass.
Imagine.
I wish I could remember my name Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies.
When there's puddles.
Yellowwellies.
I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher.
The one who makes the tea.


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


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.


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.


by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Spring

 (After Rilke)


Spring has returned! Everything has returned!
The earth, just like a schoolgirl, memorizes
Poems, so many poems.
.
.
.
Look, she has learned So many famous poems, she has earned so many prizes! Teacher was strict.
We delighted in the white Of the old man's beard, bright like the snow's: Now we may ask which names are wrong, or right For "blue," for "apple," for "ripe.
" She knows, she knows! Lucky earth, let out of school, now you must play Hide-and-seek with all the children every day: You must hide that we may seek you: we will! We will! The happiest child will hold you.
She knows all the things You taught her: the word for "hope," and for "believe," Are still upon her tongue.
She sings and sings and sings.


by Gary Snyder | |

Axe Handles

 One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head Without a handle, in the shop And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door Is long enough for a hatchet, We cut it to length and take it With the hatchet head And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle With the hatchet, and the phrase First learned from Ezra Pound Rings in my ears! "When making an axe handle the pattern is not far off.
" And I say this to Kai "Look: We'll shape the handle By checking the handle Of the axe we cut with—" And he sees.
And I hear it again: It's in Lu Ji's We Fu, fourth century A.
D.
"Essay on Literature" - in the Preface: "In making the handle Of an axe By cutting wood with an axe The model is indeed near at hand.
" My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen Translated that and taught it years ago And I see: Pound was an axe, Chen was an axe, I am an axe And my son a handle, soon To be shaping again, model And tool, craft of culture, How we go on.