National Poetry Day

Head Master's Reflections

In the spirit of National Poetry Week, honouring my roots as a teacher of English, I wished to offer two particularly apt poems, first describing an exceptional teacher, and the latter depicting brilliant learning; two hallmarks of an MTS education. I hope they resonate with you.

An excerpt from Alexander Pope’s Essay on


‘But where’s the man that counsel can bestow,
Still pleased to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbiased, or by favour or by spite,
Not dully prepossessed, nor blindly right.
Though learned, well-bred; and though well-bred,

Modestly bold, and humanly severe...
Blessed with a taste exact, yet unconfined;
A knowledge both of books and humankind,
Generous converse; a soul exempt from pride;
And love to praise, with reason on his side?’

Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself

Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Have you
reckoned the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess
the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun (there
are millions of suns left),
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand,
nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take
things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.

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