‘The School Boy’ is a Romantic poem. It helps to foreground the focus of attention of the poet. The poem is the lamentation of a young boy who is not happy with the restriction placed on him, which has not allowed him to fraternize with nature as he would loved. The regimentation of this child’s life by a host of parental and social rules and regulations leads to the child becoming sad as he longs for freedom to bask in the beauty of summer. For the boy, nature is the only place where he can find emotional, physical and psychological fulfilment and happiness. He is not happy that he has not been allowed the freedom that is associated with nature. He is not happy with is parents, who want him to go to school.
- Education acquired in a natural setting is more fulfilling than formal education in a classroom.
- The beauty and splendour of nature.
- A quest for fulfilment in nature.
- Children should be given the opportunity to chart their destiny.
- Formal education in a classroom is a form of imprisonment.
POETIC TECHNIQUE IN THE POEM
- Personification: The use of personification is evident in the first stanza of the poem. ‘When the birds sing on every tree’
And the skylark sings with me’(line 2 and 4)
- Metaphor: In line 14, ‘learning’s bower’ is a metaphor for classroom. ‘The bird’ in line 16 is metaphorical reference to the boy.
- Consonance: This is found in line 12, where the /n/ sound is repeated in ‘And spend many an anxious hour’ and in ‘blossom blown’ (line 22)
- Apostrophe: The poet persona deploys the use of this device when he addresses his parents as if they are present: ‘O father and mother if buds are nipped’ (line 21).ASSIGNMENT
- Discuss the poetic devices employed by Blake in this poem.
- Write short note on the poem’s major themes.