Sunday, 29 August 2010

Unwillingly to school - the Poetry Bus.

I think the farmer probably came out of the womb already farming. According to his mother there was never anything else for him but farming. He learned to read so that he could read farming books and magazines; he learned mathematics so that he could calculate acres and hectares, milk yields and feed prices; any drawing that he did was related to farm buildings, sizes and layout of barns - and so I could go on.
One thing was for sure - school was never important on his list of priorities. So this is the kind of litany of excuses I imagine he would churn out, given the opportunity. Luckily his mother was one strong lady and none of these excuses would ever work.
So here is tomorrow's Poetry Bus entry - which has to be anything arising from the photograph of a big yellow school bus.

Do I have to go to school?

The grass wants raking and
the hay wants making.
The yard wants sweeping
and those thistles are creeping
through the big barn field, so
the weeds want spraying
and my dad keeps saying that
we must sow early to
increase the yield, so
I can't be spared.
If a cow starts calving or
and ewe starts lambing then
I'll be missed here.
The sun is shining and
fresh air is free,
if I don't go to school they'll
not miss me.
Do I have to go to school?

24 comments:

Derrick said...

I imagine there's an equally suitable set of "town excuses" too?!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Love it Weaver!What did the farmer think?

steven said...

weaver - i've heard all the "town" excuses in my twenty years of teaching - and those are from the teachers! the students? well surprisingly, they're not quite as openly mournful. some little kernel of kindness must let them get it all out at home. steven

Poet in Residence said...

In reality some of those farm boys had done a morning's work before their teacher was out of his bed.

Heather said...

Great stuff Pat - I wonder how many other boys have had similar thoughts? I probably know one or two of them!

angryparsnip said...

Very fun, but I am thinking very true !

cheers, parsnip

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

This made me smile. I imagine him reciting it very fast!

MorningAJ said...

Isn't that where long summer holidays came from originally? All that stuff that needed doing round the farm in late summer.
I could do with excuses to get out of going back to work on Tuesday!
I might borrow a few of those.

Peter Goulding said...

Ah, school doesn't have the monopoly on education. I'm with the farmer...

annie said...

Wonderful poem, Weaver. It sounds like a real and understandable lament to me.

annie

Enchanted Oak said...

Thank you for the warm smile you put on my face.

Hildred and Charles said...

So true for many country boys, - some orchard sons here didn't go back to school until the apple crop was picked some time in October, - and I'm sure they were happy out in the crisp fall days and the September sunshine!!! Love your poem Weaver!

Esther Montgomery said...

May I copy it out and put it on my wall? It fits so many children (and my own memories!) not necessarily children who want to be farmers but children who have skills and interests which aren't catered for in school.

We spend years and years of our lives at school. Children are compelled to attend. They can't choose not to. Adults wouldn't put up with it.

Good for the Farmer's mum (in that we do all need an education and to make the most of what's on offer is sometimes all we can do). However, not well done society that provides boredom, resistance and sorrow for so many and has no mechanism for finding out what children's real skills and interests are and tailoring them accordingly (as you describe your husband doing for himself in the poem).

(Widening them too.)

It seems to me that more girls weather it than boys but that may not be to their credit. Not sure.

And well done you for presenting this (what I consider to be a serious) issue in a humourous and accessible way.

Mind - I expect in 'the old days' there were as many children who regretted having to work in their family enterprises as are failed by schools now.

Esther Montgomery

the watercats said...

I reckon it's the staple country girl's stock of phrases at a certain age :-)
beautiful!

Rachel Fox said...

Lovely. And school is only one way of learning for sure! I bet the farmer could teach us all a lot.
x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely that it struck a chord with so many of you. Thank you for the comments.

The Weaver of Grass said...

It has just struck a chord with me too - when I was a child, if my brother came home on leave (it was war time) I never wanted to leave him and go to school. My mother's response was always the same, "Well, I've got a bone in my leg and I am having to do the work in spite of it!"

Doctor FTSE said...

Well, most of us learn more out of school than we ever learned in it, so dinna fret if ye miss a day or twa!

Great poem!

Argent said...

This was really neat. I wish I could have framed such great reasons not to go to school.

Argent said...

This was really neat. I wish I could have framed such great reasons not to go to school.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Very original and clever. Evokes a universal feeling about school!

Jinksy said...

Clever take on the whole school idea - excuses to miss it!

patteran said...

And I'm informed by a teacher friend of mine in Norfolk, not much has changed. He's even had the odd day off on the strength of market days and harvests.

Karen said...

There are different sorts of schooling, and the farmer's school was the school of experience - a valuable and valid school, indeed.