Poetry Friday: William Blake – The Schoolboy

Welcome to the Poetry Friday round up here at A Teaching Life.

Summer is a thing of the past, and many of us are back to the routine of our teaching days (and nights!). Although our district does not go back to school until September 9th., and I am still in semi-summer mode, I ran into a group of students shopping for supplies who were clearly back to school and none too happy.  Their shoulders seemed to sag as they reached for notebooks and pens and paper, their lazy summer days a distant memory already.

The Schoolboy

From Songs of Experience

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, -
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour;
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning's bower,
Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

O father and mother if buds are nipped,
And blossoms blown away;
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care's dismay, -

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?

I'll be spending this almost-last day of August driving my youngest to college.  But the ever able Mister Linky is here to lend a hand and collect your Poetry Friday offerings!


32 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: William Blake – The Schoolboy

  1. Hi Tara,Great poem — seems like everyone's dragging their feet to return to school this year. Summer was definitely too short!This week I'm riffing on Lesléa Newman's poem about bread from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (my link goes live at 6 a.m. EST).Thanks for hosting and have a good holiday weekend!

  2. Hi Tara, Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday, and thanks for The Schoolboy! "but droop his tender wing…"sounds like the students you encountered. I've been away from Poetry Friday for a while, and I'm returning to celebrate the release of the verse novel Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes with a review and ARC giveaway. Safe travels to you and your son.Best wishes,Tamera Wissinger

  3. I feel for this droopy-winged kid who refers to school as a cage. Clearly he doesn't have enthusiastic teachers like you and the others here celebrating Poetry Friday! Thanks for hosting today, Tara. 🙂 As summer weather lingers on in Florida, my thoughts have turned to Santa Claus.

  4. Oh the end of summer…but school also has its rewards. Blake's poem really hit the spot. Wishing you safe travels and good times! Thanks for hosting this week.

  5. >>But to go to school in a summer morn, -O it drives all joy away!<<With our current heat wave, it feels as though summer has just begun. I feel sorry for the school children having to miss what may be this season's "last hurrah."Thanks for the poem, and for hosting, Tara. Hope your college student has a terrific year!

  6. Thanks for hosting, Tara! I am not looking forward to the "blasts of winter" here in the northeastern US, but to everything there is a season. Thank you for sharing the beautiful poem, and may you be blessed with a beautiful autumn.

  7. Aw-w! for "Sighing in dismay". Poor children. Such a fun poem, the lament of everyone who has summer days to leave behind. I don't know this poem Tara. Thanks for sharing and for hosting! Happy Travels with Livy!

  8. Thanks for hosting, Tara! I can tell many of us are on the same wave length about the end of summer – and I have a schoolboy poem, too, over at The Drift Record Mine is written by the wonderful New England poet, Robert Francis. I also got a little corny about corn-on-the-cob and corn dogs etc. at the county fairs that mark the end of summer for my family and for me.

  9. Hello, Tara! Right now we are back in school and of course we are now having some of the warmest days of the summer. I have heard a lot of comments about wasted pool days these last few weeks!

  10. Thanks for hosting, Tara! It seems that we're all missing our summer routines. This poem is an excellent reminder, though, not to strip the joy from the tender "plants" in our care. Good luck to you and your daughter. It's so bittersweet to send our children on their way…I'll be thinking of you :-)Catherine

  11. Hi, Tara. Thanks for hosting while you're still on vacation! I know you are looking forward to meeting your kiddos with enthusiasm, not a "cruel eye outworn."One highlight of my summer was meeting fantasy author and poet Peter S. Beagle, who wrote "The Last Unicorn." I heard that OED just added "squee" to the lexicon. I certainly had a squee moment meeting the author of one of my favorite books. Beagle's poem "Dragonsong" is up at Author Amok this week.

  12. Thanks for hosting and all my best sending the little one off to college. Seems like every year we were hauling and moving kids from one place to another in the heat of August. I overheard some students reminiscing about summer this week. I feel that way too, but I do love school. I love the routine, the students, and daily hugs. I love hearing what they think and seeing their writing blossom. And yesterday, I was laughing out loud at my student, Matthew's poem posted on my blog today. There are so many joys in my day.

  13. Safe travels and best wishes for a wonderful school year! Thanks for hosting and sharing this sweet reflection on the joys of summer, and how we need to hold warm memories in our hearts for winter!

  14. Tara, Thank you (and Mr. Linky) for hosting us all today.I'm in with a poem "SEA, SEA" and a poetry game for young children.I introduce homophones and issue a poetry challenge.Hope everyone has a great long weekend.I'm at http:www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.comdrop by and take a swim.

  15. Thank you for hosting this week! Great choice of poems, and so true!Like I do every week, I posted 5 new poems over at http://i.droo.it. This week I accepted challenges to employ the words "insipid", "gossamer", "exasperate", "pusillanimous", and "alacrity". Go check 'em out! (see posts #838 to #852 for this week's work).I also put up a video of a new poem I wrote yesterday entitled "I Won the Spelling Bee", which included the very challenging "floccinaucinihilipilification". You can watch me read and recite it here: https://www.youtube.com/user/lunchboxdoodler

  16. Oh, I did a lot of nipping in the bud this week, I'm afraid, but only so that as a class we can do as much flying the coop as possible for the rest of the year. Please, colleagues, do not judge but understand as I confess: I employed a candy reward at the end of today to make graphic the expectations de la maestra. Thanks for this poem, Tara, and enjoy the happy+sad="sappy" goodbye this weekend.

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