“The Good Teachers” is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy (born in 1955), who served as poet laureate of Britain from 2009 to 2019. This 24-line work in free verse can be challenging to understand, but is well worth the effort. It is a brilliant and terse kind of bildungsroman. The term bildungsroman usually describes a novel that chronicles a character’s formative years, but Duffy accomplishes this in a mere two dozen lines of verse. She herself was introduced to and developed a passion for poetry during her early school years. It is interesting to see how this biographical element unfolds in “The Good Teachers.”
The following are some of the themes you will find in this work: school and the development of the self; how teachers influence who we become; the discovery of a passion; the disillusionment of adulthood.
The speaker of the poem addresses the reader using the personal pronoun “you” and its possessive case, “your.” This technique has the effect of drawing the reader in as a...
(The entire section contains 1077 words.)