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By Brian Pattenpoet

Our literacy series will help children to discover the inspiration behind some remarkable poems, with classroom activities provided by the poet

Geography Lesson

‘Geography Lesson’ by Brian Patten

This month:

‘Geography Lesson’ by Brian Patten. Published in Juggling with Gerbils by Brian Patten (Puffin, £4.99 PB).

Sometimes a poem refuses to be pigeonholed as either ‘a poem for children’ or ‘a poem for adults’. I hope that ‘Geography Lesson’ is that kind of poem. Sometimes, young people ask me about the teacher in the poem – what he looked like, how old he was, and so on. If they identify with him at all, it is in a different way to adults. Adults seem to see him as part of themselves, and the poem taps in to their worries about unfulfilled dreams, and ambitions cut short or abandoned.

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