Study Guide

if everything happens that can't be done Education

Advertisement - Guide continues below


the stupidest teacher will almost guess (5)

After we hear the second through fourth lines claiming that books don't always plan things right, we hear about the "stupidest teacher." The poem has a negative attitude towards books and school the whole way through, which stands out because the rest of the poem is so positive.

(with a run
around we go yes) (6-8)

Now, you might be thinking, how do these lines relate to education? Our answer is that perhaps these lines relate to one of the parts of education we think our speaker likes: recess. Throughout the poem, many of the parentheses contain lines that express a joy like you'd find in a playground.

(and buds know better
than books
don't grow) (11-13)

Here we get a little bit of book bashing. Except it's not quite bashing. He's just saying, "Hey, buds, the first fresh growth of nature, know better than books." Even though we don't expect books to grow, these lines point that out as something wrong about books. Maybe, the lines suggest, the ability to grow is more important than we realize, and books can't grow because, well, you can't add more words to them, can you?

(and birds sing sweeter
than books
tell how) (20-22)

Again, these lines seem to point out a negative about books that we've never really considered before – that books don't sing. Birds, however, do, so perhaps we should listen to them rather than what we read in a book.

(with a shout
around we go all) (33-35)

These lines bring us back to the glee and joy of recess. They make us think of a circle of kids, spinning around and shouting some word game. Ah, remember the good old days of elementary school?

(we're everything greater
than books
might mean) (38-40)

These lines are the finale of this poem's anti-book sentiments. "We" – which here means the couple in this poem, but probably also people in general, and specifically people who are in love – are just plain better than books.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...