I wish I hadn’t studied poetry at high school.
I wish I had been left to wander lonely as a cloud and to lie amid the daffodils.Why could I not be left to explore Xanadu’s pleasure domes at my leisure?
If I had been left to enjoy poetry, I would have put to sea in my pea-green boat and rescued the boy from a burning deck. We would sail away for a year and a day (or until I understood haiku poetry). We would bump against a foreign shore that will be forever England.
If I hadn’t been made to study poetry at school, I would run over hill and dale, clasping my book of poems. I would ride the colt from old Regret across my sunburnt country. I would dip my toes in the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea and The Bloke would take Doreen to see a play.
Before I studied poetry in high school, I was let to run across glade and glen, shunning the frumious Bandersnatch and brandishing my vorpal blade. I knew why a raven was like a desk and I knew for whom the bell tolled. It tolled for my family, telling us to hurry up or we’ll be late for church. Before I studied poetry, I knew not what the poet meant, only what was said.
Alas, dear reader, my teacher took my much loved poems from me
and told me what the poet really meant to say.
The poems lost their colour and the images faded away.
So tell me if you can… Is it too late for Hunt, Dennis, Thomas, Yeats and Wordsworth to weave a colourful poem for me?
Or have I found a Boojum?