My Teacher Is A Fox

What is the earliest poem you have, and what made you get in to poetry?

This week, Sulthana Begum answers:

I recall I was not impressed with poetry in primary school. I was more interested in writing pages in my diary of what I had for breakfast and who I played with and pages in my notebooks of stories about castles and dragons and runaways.

But at age 12, I discovered the pleasure and ability of writing poems, which stemmed from my English teacher praising my poetry. My first poem, below, which I still have a handwritten copy of dated 20th January 1998, was for an English homework, and that’s where my poetry began.

I enjoyed looking through my old poems, which somehow despite years of moving around I managed to retain a handwritten notebook copy of. Most of it is fairly cringeworthy, and I had to resist temptation to fix up the poem when typing it up here, but resist I did.

My Teacher is a Fox

My teacher is a fox, roaming free
He always thought up impossible things for me
He was very cunning and gave my sly looks
Even gave me detention for not reading books!
He tricked me into detention and trouble
His glares always made my legs wobble
His red hair gave me the impression of a fox
His pointy ears and nose and his red socks
I really hated him and his cunning personality
So one day I wrote to the zoo in the city
Some zoo people came and took him away
I saw him with foxes in the zoo the next day
From then on we had a new teacher
He was an owl, my, what a preacher!
He could embarrass you or make you sorry
So one day… but that’s another story!

One thought on “My Teacher Is A Fox

  1. Unlike Sulthana, I loved the metre and “clang” of rhymes in early poems we encountered at primary school, and enjoyed learning with fellow classmates an alphabet poem which we delivered on the lawn of the infant school quadrangle at a Summer Garden Party in about 1952:

    G is for the Guards in their scarlet and gold –
    A truly magnificent sight to behold

    was my couplet.
    I understood why rhyme and regular metre had been so vital for completing work tasks when the vast majority of “ordinary people” could not read as they were illiterate.

    Contributor: C J Heyworth from Backpool

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