Back to School

Just found this found poem in my Work in Progress file, which provides mostly horrors to trash and a few gems. Since this "poem" is in fact almost entirely (I added the spacing) a math teacher's back-to-school note to parents, I think I can, without immodesty, call it a gem. The school in question was no doubt the one I taught in, an English school in France.


Mathematics is


“Mathematics is
     a useful and important discipline,
which offers many opportunities
     for pleasure, satisfaction and wonder.

Pupils, however,
     may spoil exercises for themselves
and others when they forget equipment.
     So please ensure your son / daughter

has a pencil case
     containing: a compass, stubby pencil
and ruler 20 cm long,
     a protractor, an HB pencil

and a sharpener
     (with reservoir), eraser and a small
safe pair of scissors. These things must come
     to school each day, and we advise

they be kept away
     from the coloured pens and pencils, keys
and marbles, jacks and other items
     children bring to school.’