(stuff And Nonsense) You Are Old, Mrs Windle (With Apologies To Lewis Carroll) Poem by Janice Windle

(stuff And Nonsense) You Are Old, Mrs Windle (With Apologies To Lewis Carroll)

Rating: 2.9

You are old, Mrs. Windle, the schoolchildren cried,
and you really are not very cool.
Yet you write and you paint and you teach on the side -
do you think that you should be in school?

In my youth, said the pedagogue, I was so hip,
picked flowers and did meditation.
Never took LSD – I preferred cups of tea
for my moments of spiritual elation.

You are old, Mrs. Windle, the children said back
and we think that your hearing is poor
yet you hear all our chatting about dope and crack
and get us had up by the law.

When I was a girl, she replied with a grin,
we never told secrets in classes.
We knew that the teacher was listening in
and we knew that all teachers were grasses.

You are old, Mrs Windle, the schoolchildren called,
and you don’t seem to know much – how can you?
Of what really matters – that’s sex and football
and who’s best – is it Chelsea or Man U?

As a child, she replied, I was not at all sporty
though I did sometimes try to talk dirty.
Now I have to come clean – I don’t follow a team
Nor discuss sex with anyone who’s under thirty.

You are old, Mrs. Windle, the schoolchildren said,
and you’ve got very long in the tooth
but when we get cheeky you bite off our heads -
can’t you have more respect for our youth?

In my schooldays, she answered, I never said boo
to my teachers, or even a goose
But now that I’m ancient I’ve learned what to do
I don’t tolerate verbal abuse!

You are old, Mrs. Windle, the schoolchildren yelled,
and your hair is becoming quite grey
but you dye it and curl it and glue it with gel -
is that why you’re late every day?

When I was at school, she replied with a frown,
I was not allowed freedom at all
and personal comments were always put down
to poor upbringing – shame on you all!

You are old, Mrs. Windle, the schoolchildren said,
and you know that you can be a bore.
Yet you’re trying to teach us and mess with our heads -
don’t you think that it’s making us sore?

In my youth, said the teacher, I listened in class
and tried to achieve the top mark.
But now I see clearly that I was an ass
so get lost and go play in the park!

Paul Hansford 29 June 2009

The first of your poems I have read, and what a standard it sets! No need to apologise to Carroll - he'd be flattered at the imitation. This is spectacular.

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Onelia Avelar 23 May 2009

The teacher's profession is one of the most challenging, arduous professions. One has to be at the same time a clown, an artist, a walking encyclopedia, attractive and not too attractive and calm like a cathedral! Those who never tried it do not know what it is. Those who survive in it deserve great respect. Wonderful poem Jan, laughter can keeps us always on the surface of the deep water :) You are not old as far as I know you, I would not say it yet.

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C Richard Miles 14 May 2009

Loved this one, Jan - what on earth do the younger generation think of us old fuddy duddies? Though perhaps we're not as fuddy-duddy as they think!

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Kesav Easwaran 30 April 2009

Brilliant poem Janice...exhilarating stuff! My smile only broadened as and when i read your piece stanza by stanza down...how nicely you agree to disagree there! Top class write...10+

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