Short Summary of “First Day in School” by Roger McGoughs

The poem is dominated by the child’s feelings of insecurity, his isolation from the rest of the kids together with the fear of being in a new setting with strange buildings. The child has the impression that the school railings are meant to lock out monsters which must be quite terrifying to the child. The other cause for alarm for the child is ‘lessins’ which is actually the word lessons misspelled. He is convinced the ‘lessins’ are some sort of slick creatures with a holding tank known as ‘glassrooms’ which is actually classrooms. The child having been left alone longs for the mother independence is just too much to handle at this point.

The curiosity of the child turns to that of hopefulness at the end of the poem. He sees himself as being more grown-up compared to other kids hence his silent criticism of the rougher kids. In addition to that he finds some sense of relief in the fact that in case he or she forgets her name then from the name tag the teacher will be able to read the name. The poet uses comic relief to display the child’s reassurance.

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This poem should be read with the complete innocence of a child in mind and does not bear any deep meaning.

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