Explorations of Modernity and Excitement in Two Poems: The Teachers and In Mrs. Tilscher's Class

Explorations of Modernity and Excitement in Two Poems: The Teachers and In Mrs. Tilscher's Class

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Poems- ‘The Teachers’ and ‘In Mrs Tilscher’s Class’

I am going to be comparing two poems, ‘The Teachers’ by Liz Lochhead and ‘In Mrs Tilscher’s Class’ by Carol Ann Duffy. The two poems talk about the same thing, which is teachers, but in different ways and the way that the poems' structures are created for the reader.
Both the poems recall parts of their school days and talk about memories of teachers they once had. Carol Ann Duffy talks about her fond memories of a teacher she once had, saying about how playful her school day was, she uses ‘skittle of milk’ to describe the joy of being able to have milk, also, she relates many parts of the poems to toys, including her teacher, ‘Mrs Tilscher’, who made many of their lessons more playful and at the end of the day it would leave her happy. On the other hand Liz Lochhead concentrates on the description of what happened in school and the characters of her teachers. On lines 5- 6 she says ‘Wars were bad but sometimes necessary’, this could represent the fact that the poem was written during or after the war era, she could also be talking about classroom wars, for example ‘wars of the sexes’. She chooses to start the poem on a really dull note; this could be because she may not have felt any emotions towards her school life or her teacher and peers. This dreary start makes the rest of the poem bland, with no detail of emotions, leaving it plain and basic to the reader.
In the first stanza of ‘In Mrs Tilschers Class’ Duffy, starts it with ‘You could travel up the blue Nile with your finger…’, even though the blue Nile isn’t blue, its like she remembers the start of the day as being perfect, but whilst everyone knows that the water in the blue Nile is actually ...


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...e last line of the poem would make us think even though they are going into a newer school habitat and age, they still are growing up and they will find out things that they never knew and are able to learn more even though that there are dangers on the way. Also the line could mean that they are now leaving Mrs Tilschers Class and now their lives may become dangerous without her.
Overall, I think that both the poems are good, but Lochheads is lacking the excitement that school can bring. Both the poems are similar to each other, but ‘In Mrs Tilschers Class’ is more modern than ‘The Teachers’ which many have been set in the war era, meaning everything was in short supply during the school day. Lochheads poem doesn’t make you feel any emotion, but Duffys makes you feel what she is feeling as a child, which I think makes it a more interesting poem to read.

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