At school, one of the English teachers sets a ‘Word of the Week’ challenge. He provides a complex word that students have to define and use in an original sentence to show understanding. If they do this, they get an house point.
At the end of this year, he set a challenge to use all of the words in a piece of writing, so I chose a poem. It’s a little non-sensical, but let me know what you think!
(And can you spot the likely given words? (Hint: There are twenty six!))
A stalwart prof with eyes effulgent,
And with manners most urbane
Was asked by his least irksome students
For a story most germane
To their especial stage of life:
That awkward time twixt young and old.
“The tale I’ll tell you runs the gamut
Of problems faced and those foretold.”
“This tale’s a touch apocryphal,”
He said in his quixotic way,
“So whether you believe, or not,
A single word of what I’ll say
Will make no difference to my life –
It’s really neither here nor there.”
Though secretly when girls don’t listen
Raised his bugs and ired his bears.
“There is a paucity of tales
That promulgate the best ideas
For such capricious beasts as you.
But huddle up and draw in near.
Take a seat and settle down,
Rest yourselves or take a knee
As we begin to wander through
The world of school hegemony.
“There once was an egregious lady –
Curmudgeonly, intractable –
Who never had expunged entirely
The lambasting received at school.
So, in a most perfidious turn,
She sat and wrote, with great finesse,
A treatise that lampooned the place
And had it printed in the press.
“Writing ‘neath a sobriquet,
This text gained notoriety:
Its lucid, colourful descriptions
Limned the school’s deficiencies.
The piquant details sparked amusement
And concern in readers wide.
Its efficacy cannot be doubted:
The school was soon is straits most dire.
“Despite the Head’s most ardent efforts
And fastidious disabuse
Of these most damning accusations –
Which also made it to the news –
The killing blow had been inflicted.
The Gov’ners really had no choice.
They sacked the Head and several others
And claimed with one united voice:
“This is a new start for the place!”
The author of the damning text
Read this in the news and cried,
“Success! What shall I target next?”
Then in a moment of reflection,
A fear arose she couldn’t quell:
“Had I not had as good a schooling,
I’d never have written quite so well!”
“And so, my little acolytes,
There is a moral to this tale.
Can you tell me what it is?”
The students drained and all looked pale.
Nervous hands began to fidget.
Anxious eyes began to dart.
And blood was pumping every quicker
Through their veins and through their hearts.
“Tearing down is far, far simpler
Than it is those things to raise;
And criticism oft comes quickly
To those things that we should praise.
How good the things you’ve had have been.”
And with these words he disappeared;
A whimsical figure from school-day dreams.