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The last lesson

By James124
In our local park there is what one might call a Poet's Corner with poems on slate slabs. This one about a schoolteacher's last lesson. I have put the translation below.

Thanks for your comments and votes on Path to the pines , much appreciated as always.

On a certain sad day in January
When the sun neither warms nor comforts
The little ones went to school
Looking at a little anthill

When the last one entered the hall
And took his books out of his bag
The master gave his alms
With good advice like a counsellor.

But on the old man's face now there's
Deep despair and sadness
That blacken his heart.

Without bitterness and in a soft tone
One by one, he teaches them all
And this is his last lesson.

Julinho, be careful, my friend,
There's no better way to write
You don't always notice what I tell you!

Carlos, Josť, Miguel, come with me
To the blackboard and learn the sums.
And you, Fernando, who can already read
Teach that boy who's with you.

With his eyes already dead and tired
The teacher looks back on his past
The hundreds of pupils he's taught.

When it was time to leave
In his moving farewell
One by one the little ones he embraced.

(Translated using DeepL, so some bits seem odd.)

Tags: B&w Mono General Sepia School Poetry mono toned b&w toned

Voters: woolybill1, mike9005, saltireblue and 25 more

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saltireblue Plus
12 13.5k 84 Norway
10 Mar 2021 8:53AM
Being a teacher must be highly rewarding, extremely frustrating, and requiring the patience of a saint...
Nigel_NZ 17 26 3 New Zealand
10 Mar 2021 9:00AM
The schools I went too, were County Council funded and only seemed to turn out factory fodder for the local companies consumption, ok it was back several decades, but I don't feel it has improved over those years, but I am just a grizzled old cynic. Happy daze.Wink
Minty805 Plus
6 48 10 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 10:57AM
What a poignant poem, which could probably apply to most professions, at least those where the practitioner has gained from it as much as he/she has given. Nicely toned, too.
leo_nid 5 12
10 Mar 2021 11:00AM
I was educated as a school teacher of English
I only worked at school for year and came to a firm conclusion that schools require kids to behave in ways than no child has ever behaved in the history of children...
p.s. and a lovely poem and my deep respect for teachers who remain dedicated to their cause...
TrevBatWCC Plus
14 13 19 England
10 Mar 2021 12:09PM
A fine image, James, like the processing, suits the subject 😃 Like the poem too 👍
Trev 😀
Irishkate 12 45 121 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 12:59PM
A lovely sculpture/plinth to remind of the humanity of teachers.
Never have they been so appreciated as recently in lockdown.
10 Mar 2021 1:47PM
Chinga Plus
12 112 3 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 2:24PM
Fascinating find James... Glad you translated the poem...
Excellent work, Isabel GrinGrin
Fefe Plus
11 82 49 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 3:38PM
Lovely poem and image James Smile
ZenTony Plus
7 17 6 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 3:57PM
Superb processing James, and the poem is soulful !
10 Mar 2021 7:45PM
Having just retired from teaching for almost 40yrs this strikes a chord with me. Itís very poignant.


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