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The teacher's song

The Teacher’s Song 

The classroom where you teach is just a room:
it has four walls, a ceiling and a floor;
the colour scheme is bland; the furniture
is functional. This room does not inspire.

And yet. And yet. Inside this room there is
a door. You will not see it with your eyes,
you cannot touch its frame, or turn its handle,
for it is of the mind. Unopened. Locked.

No ordinary key unlocks this quite
extraordinary door, it takes a special one:
a key of words, of thoughts, of wisdom’s reach;
an incantation woven by a teacher.

Unlock this door, and then invite your children
to push it open for themselves, and walk
into the world that waits for them: a world
of knowledge, and all the freedom knowledge brings.

Fergus McGonigal

Fergus McGonigal

About this poem

Poetry on Loan commissions 20 or 30 poets to write poems for our poetry postcards. The poems have to be short, accessible and on a given theme - this time it was Onwards, upwards, freedom - and the selection process is always difficult. For our front-page poem, we'll be having some of the poems that didn't quite make the cut - it was close!

This one is by Fergus McGonigal, well known to followers of Poetry on Loan - and not just for his pink hair; he's a fine poet, able to turn his hand to performances, workshops and instant poetry.