I Have Taught All

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mark Cohen, May 25, 2020.

  1. Mark Cohen

    Mark Cohen Guest

    May 25, 2020

    I am looking for a poem called "I Have Taught All" by Naomi Joan White. It was given out in class in approximately 1970 by Dr. Robert House from San Francisco State University. It's very important to me. I've kept it for decades, but somehow seem to have lost it recently. If anybody either has a copy or knows where I can find one, I would appreciate it greatly. I know it appeared on some publication that was dedicated to teachers and teaching.

    Thank you.

  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
    Likes Received:

    May 25, 2020

    Do you remember any of the lines?
  4. Mark Cohen

    Mark Cohen Guest

    May 25, 2020


    Thanks so much for your reply. I actually finally found an electronic copy among my files. It is as follows:


    I have taught in high school for ten years. During
    that time I have given assignments, among others, to a murderer,
    an evangelist, a pugilist, a thief, and an imbecile.

    The murderer was a quiet little boy who sat in the front
    seat and regarded me with pale blue eyes; the evangelist,
    easily the most popular boy in school, had the lead in the
    Junior play; the pugilist lounged by the window and let
    loose at intervals a raucous laugh that startled even the
    geraniums; the thief was a gay-hearted lothario with a
    song on his lips; and the imbecile, a soft-eyed little
    animal seeking the shadows.

    The murderer awaits death in the state penitentiary;
    the evangelist has lain a year now in the village
    churchyard; the pugilist lost an eye in a brawl in Hong
    Kong; the thief, by standing on his tiptoe, can see the window
    of my room from the county jail; and the once gentle-eyed
    little imbecile beats his head against a padded wall in
    the state asylum.

    All of these pupils once sat in my room, sat and
    looked at me gravely across worn brown desks. I must have
    been a great help to these pupils -- I taught them the
    rhyming scheme of the Elizabethan sonnet and how to diagram
    a complex sentence.

    -- Naomi John White, "I taught
    All." The Clearing House, XII
    (Nov. 1957), 151.
    courtesy of Dr. Jim Symula
    SUNY at Fredonia
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Apr 29, 2008
    Likes Received:

    May 25, 2020

    This sounds familiar. I think I've read it before. It's an odd one!

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