Two poems I wrote in high school

I can't claim greatness for these, but they are cute! Thirty years later, I am not ashamed of them. These were NOT written for any assignment. I was just feeling creative.

Sonnet on a Bad Report Card

Copyright ©,

What little peace I had has been destroyed
by this small piece of paper in my hand.
I cannot say I am much overjoyed;
my grades must be the lowest in the land.

But I must not despair to see these marks
for they are only that which I deserved.
I made too many impudent remarks;
my schoolwork was a thing I’d not observed.

But still I thought I could have bettered this!
I guess I gave my teachers too much sass.
The dreams I held have now all gone amiss.
I bet because of this, I shall not pass.

But I’ll keep up my hope and then perhaps
when I retake this course I won’t relapse.


In the first quatrain, notice the word play of “little peace…small piece.” There is alliteration in several places, e.g., line 2 of the last quatrain has “I guess I gave my teachers too…” In line 4 of the last quatrain, “I shall not pass” is a historical pun referring to the Battle of Verdun in 1916 (World War I), when the French slogan was Ils ne passeront pas (They shall not pass, referring to the Germans).

Announcement of a Quiz
in the manner of Mr. Batson

Copyright ©,

I have in hand a little quiz
which I shall now ask you to take.
It is not hard, in fact, it is
the easiest that I could make.

If you attended every class
and wrote down everything I said,
there is no doubt that you will pass
but if you didn't, you are dead!.


Mr. Batson was a teacher at my high school. When he had a quiz to give the class, he would announce it by holding up the papers in his raised hand while saying: “I have in hand a little quiz.” I took his expression and expanded it.