Posted in Poetry, Tabletop Poetry (and Other Artforms)

30 in 30: Day 9

Testing Blues (After W. H. Auden)

Wind up the clocks, turn off the phones.
Make sure each student sits alone.
Silence the school bells, and with muffled drum,
Bring out the chrome books, let the mourners come.

Let students circle, moaning, through the halls
Scribbling “soon we’ll be dead,” along the wall.
Put signs for silence on all the classroom doors
Ensure the teachers will all be bored.

Tests are our North, our South, our East and West.
We might lose our jobs if our kids aren’t the best.
They are our noon, our midnight, our talk, our song.
We thought they would end: we were wrong.

Class is not wanted now. End every one.
Pack up the books, but still ensure there’s no fun.
We’d test all year long if we possibly could.
For nothing now can come to any good.


I am a poet, linguist, and ESL teacher who loves to play games.

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