Write a summary on the poem "The village schoolmaster""the village schoolmaster" by Oliver Goldsmith

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say you can read this poem in two ways.  You can read it as praise of the teacher, or you can read it as a poem about how life is fleeting and so is fame (sort of like "Ozymandias."

In the poem, we are first told that the place where the teacher used to teach is falling apart now.

Then we are told about what he was like.  We find that he was a strict person.  The kids would try to "read" his face to see if he was in a good mood or bad.  They would laugh at his bad jokes so he wouldn't get angry.

But, the author says, the man was really only strict because he loved learning so much.  We are told that he was very smart and able to debate well.

Finally, though, we are told that "all his fame is past."

So is this a poem about how good he was?  Or is the ending more important -- is it a poem about how his fame (and everyone else's) fades away quickly?