by F. R. Scott*
The routine trickery of the examination
Baffles these hot and discouraged youths,
Driven by they know not what external pressure
They pour their hated self-analysis
Through the nib of confession, onto the accusatory page.
I, who have plotted their immediate downfall,
I am entrusted with the divine categories,
ABCD and the hell of E,
The parade of prize and the backdoor of pass.
In the tight silence
Standing by a green grass window
Watching the fertile earth graduate its sons
With more compassion—not commanding the shape
Of stem and stamen, bringing the trees to pass
By shift of sunlight and increase of rain,
For each seed the whole soil, for the inner life
*A poem taught by Ms. Williams to her English class at the Pathfinder School. Twentieth-Century Canadian Poetry: An Anthology, Earle Birney (ed.), (1953), Toronto: Ryerson; also in Mirrors: Recent Canadian Verse, Jon Pearce (ed.), (1975), Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing.