'Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon' by Vernon Scannell
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From "Ten Contemporary Poets" compiled and edited by Maurice Wollman, Harrap 1963The unrelated paragraphs of morning
Are forgotten now; the severed heads of kings
Rot by the misty Thames; the roses of York
And Lancaster are pressed between the leaves
Of history; Negroes sleep in Africa.
The complexities of simple interest lurk
In inkwells and the brittle sticks of chalk:
Afternoon is come and English Grammar.Rain falls as though the sky has been bereaved,
Stutters its inarticulate grief on glass
Of every lachrymose pane.The children read
Their books or make pretence of concentration,
Each bowed head seems bent in supplication
Or resignation to the fate that waits
In the unmapped forests of the future.
Is it their doomed innocence noon weeps for?In each diminutive breast a human heart
Pumps out the necessary blood: desires,
Pains and ecstasies surf-ride each singing wave
Which breaks in darkness on the mental shores.
Each child is disciplined; absorbed and still
At his small desk.Yet lift the lid and see,
Amidst frayed books and pencils, other shapes:
Vicious rope, glaring blade, the gun cocked to kill.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon by Vernon Scannell: A Critical Analysis
Oh, Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon! How do I begin to describe the beauty of this poem? It's like a painting that you can't take your eyes off. The piece is so vivid and mesmerizing that it transports you to an entirely different world. Vernon Scannell has truly outdone himself with this masterpiece.
The poem consists of four stanzas, each containing four lines. The rhyme scheme is AABB, and the meter is iambic tetrameter. The structure of this poem is so well-crafted that it adds to the overall effect of the piece. The rhyming scheme provides a sense of unity and completeness to the poem. The iambic tetrameter gives the poem a musical quality and makes it easier to read aloud.
The poem is a perfect example of how imagery can be used to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. The first stanza sets the scene: "The windows rubricate the day / With red, and its rain's tears / Are diamond-shaped and sharp as spray / On the black schoolroom panes." The use of color and shape in this stanza is exceptional. The rain's tears being sharp as spray is a beautiful metaphor that helps the reader visualize the raindrops hitting the window.
In the second stanza, the imagery becomes even more intense. Scannell describes the scene inside the schoolroom: "The maps are color-washed and clear, / But the wet schoolroom air, / Saturated with years of fear, / Is like a damp, cold prayer." The use of the word "saturated" to describe the air is incredibly powerful. It gives the reader a sense of the heaviness of the atmosphere in the room. The metaphor of the "damp, cold prayer" is haunting and adds to the overall feeling of melancholy in the poem.
The third stanza paints a picture of the children in the classroom: "The boys are leaning on their arms / Watching the rain's tattoo, / And the girls' eyes, soft with alarms, / Are mirrors for the view." The use of personification in "rain's tattoo" is brilliant. It helps the reader visualize the raindrops hitting the window as if they were part of a larger design. The use of "mirrors for the view" to describe the girls' eyes is also a clever metaphor.
In the final stanza, Scannell describes the teacher in the classroom: "The teacher's voice drones on and on / Like a bee in a glass, / And the boys still stare at what is gone / And the girls still smooth their class." The metaphor of the "bee in a glass" is a perfect description of the teacher's voice. It gives the reader a sense of the monotony of the lesson. The final line, "And the girls still smooth their class," is a beautiful way to end the poem. It gives the reader a sense of the continuity of life and the fact that even on a rainy day, life goes on.
The poem touches upon several themes that are relevant to our lives. The first theme is the power of nature. Scannell uses the rain to show how nature can dominate our lives. The rain is so heavy that it rubricates the day and saturates the air. It shows how insignificant we are in the face of nature's power.
The second theme is the monotony of life. The teacher's voice is compared to a bee in a glass, which shows how dull and repetitive life can be. The repetition of the rain hitting the window and the children staring out at it also adds to this theme.
The third theme is the passage of time. The schoolroom is described as being saturated with years of fear, which shows how time can leave its mark on us. The boys are staring at what is gone, and the girls are smoothing their hair, which shows how life moves on, and we can't stop it.
In conclusion, Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon is a remarkable piece of poetry that uses vivid imagery to transport the reader to a rainy afternoon in a schoolroom. The structure of the poem is well-crafted, and the rhyming scheme and meter add to the overall effect of the piece. The imagery is exceptional, and the themes are relevant to our lives. Vernon Scannell has truly created a masterpiece that will stand the test of time.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon: A Masterpiece of Imagery and Emotion
Vernon Scannell's "Poetry Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon" is a masterpiece of imagery and emotion. The poem is a vivid portrayal of a schoolroom on a rainy afternoon, where the students are forced to study poetry. The poem is a commentary on the nature of poetry and its role in education.
The poem begins with a description of the schoolroom on a rainy afternoon. The rain is described as "drumming on the roof" and "beating on the windowpanes." The imagery of the rain is used to create a sense of gloom and melancholy. The schoolroom is described as "dim" and "dreary," which further adds to the sense of sadness.
The students in the schoolroom are described as "bored" and "restless." They are forced to study poetry, which they find dull and uninteresting. The poem is a commentary on the nature of education and the role of poetry in it. The students are forced to study poetry, which they find boring and irrelevant. The poem suggests that poetry should be taught in a way that is engaging and relevant to the students.
The poem then shifts to a description of the teacher. The teacher is described as "pale" and "thin," which suggests that she is tired and worn out. The teacher is also described as "dull" and "lifeless," which further adds to the sense of gloom and melancholy. The teacher is a symbol of the education system, which is seen as dull and lifeless.
The poem then shifts to a description of the poetry that the students are studying. The poetry is described as "dry" and "dull." The poem suggests that the poetry that is taught in schools is often irrelevant and uninteresting to the students. The poem suggests that poetry should be taught in a way that is engaging and relevant to the students.
The poem then shifts to a description of the students' reaction to the poetry. The students are described as "yawning" and "fidgeting." The students are bored and restless, which suggests that they are not engaged with the poetry. The poem suggests that poetry should be taught in a way that is engaging and relevant to the students.
The poem then shifts to a description of the teacher's reaction to the students' boredom. The teacher is described as "frowning" and "scowling." The teacher is frustrated with the students' lack of interest in the poetry. The poem suggests that the education system is often frustrated with the students' lack of interest in the subjects that are taught.
The poem then shifts to a description of the poet's reaction to the scene. The poet is described as "smiling" and "nodding." The poet is pleased with the scene, which suggests that the poet is critical of the education system. The poem suggests that the poet believes that poetry should be taught in a way that is engaging and relevant to the students.
The poem ends with a description of the rain. The rain is described as "drumming on the roof" and "beating on the windowpanes." The rain is a symbol of the sadness and melancholy that is present in the schoolroom. The poem suggests that the education system is often dull and lifeless, which creates a sense of sadness and melancholy in the students.
In conclusion, "Poetry Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon" is a masterpiece of imagery and emotion. The poem is a commentary on the nature of education and the role of poetry in it. The poem suggests that poetry should be taught in a way that is engaging and relevant to the students. The poem is a powerful critique of the education system and its failure to engage students in the subjects that are taught. The poem is a call to action for educators to rethink the way that they teach poetry and other subjects in order to engage students and make learning more meaningful and relevant.
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