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Please Mrs Butler: The timeless school poetry collection

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Because the child says “This boy” when referring to “Derek Drew,” it seems like the speaker is a young girl. Using anaphora, the poet describes the teacher telling her student to “sit in the hall” or “sit in the sink. Then, the fourth stanza conveys the same dismissive attitude readers saw from the teacher in the second stanza. He tells us how much he loves to get up early on a summer morning, listening to the huntsmen blasting their horns and the birdsong. I had such incredibly fond memories of this collection of poems from my childhood, I was almost nervous to read it with my daughter.

This is no doubt meant as a term of endearment, but it also comes across as patronizing and dismissive.

Inspired by a visit the 60-year-old Yeats made to a convent school in Ireland, ‘Among School Children’ is considered one of his finest late poems. Please Mrs Butler was voted the most important twentieth-century children's poetry book in a Books for Keeps poll. Allan Ahlberg (5 June 1938) and Janet Ahlberg (21 October 1944 – 13 November 1994) , née Janet Hall, were a British married couple who created many children's books, including picture books that regularly appear at the top of most popular lists for public libraries.

This is a brilliantly child friendly book that they can relate to due to the wording and the way the poems are written. The poems would be a good starting point to getting children keen on the idea of writing poetry and the fact that poems do not always need to rhyme. The young speaker tells her teacher that the boy is taking her rubber or eraser, and she wants him to stop. My absolute favourite is ‘Dog in the Playground’ which has such a tremendous pace and sense of drama to it, about an event we can all identify with - still one of my favourite-ever poems and one of my favourite collections too. The poet uses entertaining and simple-to-read language to describe a very unproductive conversation between a student and a teacher.Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analyzing poetry on Poem Analysis. The success of the poem, and the book as a whole, is that it speaks directly, humorously and humanely to children about everyday life in a situation they know well and spend most of their lives in: school.

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