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Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Triptych

This is a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - to produce the literary equivalent of the tripych.


Centre Panel

He was all Marcel Marceau;
the way he'd tap
the door's glass panel
with fingernail,
forefinger crooked...
the way he'd mouth
(we couldn't hear him)
Let me in, please let me in!...
while from his other hand,
waist high, no more,
a pile of books
steadied by his chin.

But neither door
nor boys behind it
would budge an inch
until the well-judged,
unexpected moment
when he'd stagger in.


Right Hand Panel

Top Academic at his school.
At Oxbridge
First Class Honours (twice),
he'd authored books
on mathematics, full
of his creative thoughts.

Left Hand Panel

It must be said
in all that his brain held
there was no room
for knowledge of young lads,
what made them tick.
He was adrift, a light raft
on a sea of treachery.


17 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Very true, very sad.

jabblog said...

Life must have been hard for the poor chap, adrift in a sea of uncaring lads.

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh, this is deep and very sad.

Mary said...

A fascinating portrait of a person, showing various facets, in triptych form! I like the way you accomplished this, Dave.

Kat Mortensen said...

I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but I don't see this as sad at all; I'm see pranksters with a older teacher and the way kids mock their elders.

We had a teacher in Grade Ten who was very pear-shaped and we called him Mr. Weeble (along with singing, "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down.")

It wasn't cruel; it was just us, being kids.

I don't think, if he ever heard us, Mr. Cormier took offense. It just rolled off of him!

Kat Mortensen said...

Forgive the errors in that last comment; I've only just had my first sip of coffee.

Brian Miller said...

nice dave, you def explored the sad facets of this guys life...nicely done

Kat Mortensen said...

I read it again, and I have to say, I can see the physical triptych - right there in front of me, hanging on the wall!

Well done!

Heaven said...

An interesting picture of a man, his public and personal persona being different and creating tension and conflict ~

Very good use of the form ~

turtlememoir said...

Reminds me somewhat of a math and physics teacher I had in high school... I thought when I read this: now this is a triptych, this is the way it should be done - a series of word paintings one can actually see hanging on some wall.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Three pictures flashing with a neat strength.

The left hand panel is particularly poignant with "the light raft" of the last two lines.

Windsmoke. said...

Lads will be lads with all their tricks, jokes and folly of youth :-).

pilgrimchick said...

Very insightful.

Cloudia said...

"light raft
on a sea of treachery"

indeed!



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David Cranmer said...

Well drawn, Dave.

Dave King said...

To All

A few difficulties again today means I can't get round individually, for which humble apologies. All your contributions were most welcome. Interesting to note the one area of disagreement: the sadness or otherwise in the situation. Certainly there was none from our point of view, and certainly he very largely was the architect of his own downfall. One of the sadnesses I think was that it was war time and highly qualified teachers were just not available. He was highly qualified - but not with boys! Interestingly, the school had been rather exclusive, the 1944 Education Act opened it up to the riff raff such as myself and some of the teachers just did not know how to adapt.

Dulcina said...

Good contrast among these three panels to describe a person with his in & out comflicts, as life is.
A good teacher is not the one who knows the most, but the one who knows how to make pupils understand difficult matters/subjects in an easy and funny way; even Maths have their humour!
An artfully constructed triptych which, when closed, can show its real human side.
In the nineties I wrote a long poem in Spanish, "Tríptico", about the Spanish mystic Saint Teresa de Jesús and Eternity.
:)