Roger McGough

(November 9 - 1937 / Liverpool / England)

The Lesson - Poem by Roger McGough

Chaos ruled OK in the classroom
as bravely the teacher walked in
the nooligans ignored him
his voice was lost in the din

'The theme for today is violence
and homework will be set
I'm going to teach you a lesson
one that you'll never forget'

He picked on a boy who was shouting
and throttled him then and there
then garrotted the girl behind him
(the one with grotty hair)

Then sword in hand he hacked his way
between the chattering rows
'First come, first severed' he declared
'fingers, feet or toes'

He threw the sword at a latecomer
it struck with deadly aim
then pulling out a shotgun
he continued with his game

The first blast cleared the backrow
(where those who skive hang out)
they collapsed like rubber dinghies
when the plug's pulled out

'Please may I leave the room sir? '
a trembling vandal enquired
'Of course you may' said teacher
put the gun to his temple and fired

The Head popped a head round the doorway
to see why a din was being made
nodded understandingly
then tossed in a grenade

And when the ammo was well spent
with blood on every chair
Silence shuffled forward
with its hands up in the air

The teacher surveyed the carnage
the dying and the dead
He waggled a finger severely
'Now let that be a lesson' he said


Comments about The Lesson by Roger McGough

  • Arjun L. Sen (2/22/2020 10:35:00 AM)

    I’m a teacher. Don’t give me ideas 😂 (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kaniamudhu Shanmugam (11/4/2019 11:19:00 AM)

    How could a teacher be a killer. Language used is profound but not the theme of the poem (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • mr meeeee (10/24/2019 3:32:00 AM)

    Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Utkarsh (9/27/2019 9:10:00 PM)

    Joy in service poem (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (9/19/2019 9:16:00 PM)

    Quite an anticlimax in the last line, 'Now let that be a lesson'. I like some of the poem,
    but not the firing of guns and blood. Poor taste and excessive.
    (Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(10/6/2019 7:10:00 PM)

    I partly agree with you. I know there have been shootings in schools in the US, not that
    long ago either. The poet could have had that in mind.

    Mike Koxmaul(10/5/2019 10:50:00 PM)

    That is literally the point of the poem. It is meant to be exaggerated to show the consequences students face if they do not heed the teacher.

    Mike Oxmaul(10/5/2019 10:49:00 PM)

    That's literally the point of the poem. It is meant to be exaggerated to show the consequences students face when they do not heed the teacher.

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • BIG MAN1323 (9/19/2019 7:42:00 AM)

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    (Report)Reply

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    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Conor pixler (9/19/2019 7:40:00 AM)

    A very dark poem not young children (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • tagibe (9/15/2019 2:13:00 PM)

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    1 person liked.
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  • Nig Ward (8/7/2019 9:56:00 PM)

    this was very funny thats for sharing ill try this next time i teach my math class (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (5/7/2019 4:16:00 AM)

    'Now let that be a lesson' he said // at last the end comes with great reply; love this great poem (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • George Samuel Egba (3/9/2019 8:39:00 AM)

    What a ghastly strategy to give a life long lesson. Nice poem, thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • kitten (3/6/2019 3:21:00 PM)

    wow this poem is so bruttle (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Josie WhiteheadJosie Whitehead (2/20/2019 5:54:00 AM)

    What a boring voice reading this poem! ! ! ! ! There is interest in the voice at all, no intonation and just dull. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Inguruwattadewage Pushpadewa Chaminda (12/28/2018 11:05:00 PM)

    The poem is describing teacher and student violence thus its nice poem thanks (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Felicia Branch (12/24/2018 9:28:00 PM)

    Oh my goodness the imagery alone is powerful. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sophie Léchauguette (5/21/2018 3:23:00 AM)

    A masterful use of irony to denounce violence in schools.
    I see a connection between this poem which tells the story of a teacher going amok and a Chilean movie, Relatos salvajes, which tells the story of various people on the edge of a nervous breakdown (this is an understatement) .
    A brilliantly outrageous way to use violence so as to make it visible
    (Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • rohan graddy and mike hunt (5/20/2018 7:23:00 PM)

    this is is hahahahhhahahahhahahhahahaha i will put A COPYRITE claim as this contains violence. i hated it because it had so much violence and the teacher should get arrested. this is a fantastic news source (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • nick herr (5/20/2018 7:18:00 PM)

    this is a amazing poem i really enjoyed the part where they raped all the
    black s
    Already ReportedReply

    SLAVE OWNER(9/19/2019 7:54:00 AM)

    BINBBEUJKSBUEKJSADHXUJASKCHXNEUSAJKCHNXEJKSMACHXW
    I agree

    7 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Marguerite Bowhay (4/30/2018 2:33:00 AM)

    It is amazing how many people have missed the point here. I look forward to telling Roger McGough how I used this funny poem in class. (Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Terry Dawson (4/4/2018 8:42:00 AM)

    Haha, talk about a cat amongst the pigeons! A breath of fresh air in these stultifying times of political correctness! ! (Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 153 comments »




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Read poems about / on: teacher, girl, today, silence, hair, lost, fire



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, February 13, 2014


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