On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High
In his poem, "On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High", the author, David Chapman Berry, has relied on metaphors and similes to carry out his view of a typical literature class and a teacher's view of teaching.
The setting of the poem is in a senior literature class, at South High School. The speaker in this poem is a teacher, who tells the reader about his or her students and about the course of his or her literature class. The teacher discusses poetry with his class, but at the same time compares the students and the classroom order to fish in an aquarium.
The poem consists of seven stanzas. The first stanza states how the teacher enters the classroom and finds his or her
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He or she states that the students opened up like gills. This simile describes the student's thirst for knowledge. The students were interested in what he had to teach and they were willing to learn. The fourth stanza completes the idea of the classroom as an aquarium, using a simile and an overstatement. The speaker visualizes how he or she and the students, as fish, swim together throwing words through the room with their tails. With this simile, the speaker is trying to say, that he or she has gotten through to the students. The students and the teacher are working together on discussing a poem. The tone of the poem sounds rather joyful at this point. Then the bell rings, and punctures a hole in the door. Again the speaker uses an overstatement, to describe how the bell means the end of the class session, and the attention is directed to the door of the classroom. The fifth stanza is a single line metaphor, which states the order of students leaving the classroom when the bell rings. In the sixth stanza the students go to their next class and the teacher goes home. At this point, there is another change in mood. The tone of the poem has become melancholic. The seventh, and final stanza holds that the speaker turns back into his or her human shape after arriving at home. This is the end of the metaphor, for he or she adapts to his human features again. Also