Explorations Of Modernity And Excitement In Two Poems: The Teachers And In Mrs. Tilscher's Class

1608 words - 6 pages

Poems- ‘The Teachers’ and ‘In Mrs Tilscher’s Class’

I am going to be comparing two poems, ‘The Teachers’ by Liz Lochhead and ‘In Mrs Tilscher’s Class’ by Carol Ann Duffy. The two poems talk about the same thing, which is teachers, but in different ways and the way that the poems' structures are created for the reader.
Both the poems recall parts of their school days and talk about memories of teachers they once had. Carol Ann Duffy talks about her fond memories of a teacher she once had, saying about how playful her school day was, she uses ‘skittle of milk’ to describe the joy of being able to have milk, also, she relates many parts of the poems to toys, including her teacher, ‘Mrs Tilscher’, who made many of their lessons more playful and at the end of the day it would leave her happy. On the other hand Liz Lochhead concentrates on the description of what happened in school and the characters of her teachers. On lines 5- 6 she says ‘Wars were bad but sometimes necessary’, this could represent the fact that the poem was written during or after the war era, she could also be talking about classroom wars, for example ‘wars of the sexes’. She chooses to start the poem on a really dull note; this could be because she may not have felt any emotions towards her school life or her teacher and peers. This dreary start makes the rest of the poem bland, with no detail of emotions, leaving it plain and basic to the reader.
In the first stanza of ‘In Mrs Tilschers Class’ Duffy, starts it with ‘You could travel up the blue Nile with your finger…’, even though the blue Nile isn’t blue, its like she remembers the start of the day as being perfect, but whilst everyone knows that the water in the blue Nile is actually grey, and this is how many school children portray school. Whilst in the first stanza of Liz Lochheads poem, she continues with a detailed description of her school day. In lines 1- 3, she states, ‘they taught that what you wrote in ink carried more weight than what you wrote in pencil’, this line links to line 4 of stanza 2 in Carol Ann Duffys poem ‘In Mrs Tilscher’s Class’, seeing that when you write in pencil it is easy and light, which could also refer to a child being forgiven for something, but when you get older it is not as easy to be forgiven. Also Lochhead talks about one of her teachers, ‘Miss Prentice’, ‘Miss Prentice wore her poppy the whole month of November’, she could be referring her as an old fashioned person, seeing that she is respectful to servers of the war even though the teacher has no need to wear the poppy the whole month.
In the second stanza of ‘The Teachers’, Lochhead talks about her teachers roles in the school day, with Miss Matheison’s piano and Miss Ferguson’s lesson of ‘the Chinese custom of footbinding’. Lochhead makes this stanza dull, only making points about the teacher’s jobs, but in ‘Mrs Tilschers Class’, Duffy talks about how Mrs Tilscher left a gold star by your name,...

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