To discuss the presentation of teachers in twentieth century poetry I have chosen to analyse three poems, "The French Master," by Dannie Abse, "Head of English," by Carol Anne Duffey and "Teacher," by Mary E. O"Donnell. The three poems are all based on the role of teachers and their horrific time trying to teach children. "Head of English," and "Teacher," are from the teachers perspective whereas "The French Master," is from a pupils point of view. In all three poems the attitudes of the pupils towards the teachers are portrayed as disrespectful. The poems suggest that teachers in the twentieth century can be very different characters. In "The French Master," the teacher Walter Bird is described as if "he"d behead each dullard and fool," suggesting how cruel he was which contrasts with the image in "Head of English," in which the teacher is portrayed as enthusiastic and scatty and in "Teacher," the teacher is portrayed as unenthusiastic, dreary and fed up with her pupils.
Let us consider the themes in the three poems to illustrate the presentation of teachers. In the three poems the story line differs.
The "French Master," by Dannie Abse is a poem in which the writer demonstrates to the reader how he feels about his former teacher. The poem shows the transformation of the teacher, Walter Bird from a strict intimidating man with a cane which "buzzed like a bee in the air," to a pathetic lovestricken old man all because of the actions of his love. "The Head of English," by Carol Anne Duffey is a humorous poem which is written from the perspective of a teacher and in which the writer talks to her pupils as a writer visits her class. The teacher in "Head of English" is portrayed as enthusiastic, disorganised and scatty and the poet conveys a sense of drama in her language. She conveys these qualities or disadvantages as she keeps talking and talking to her pupils spontaneously. "Teacher," by Mary E.