Tom Wayman's Poem

707 Words3 Pages
How often could it be for children of all ages across America to skip class and surrender instructional time simply because they don’t feel like attending the course that morning? How much does this time add up? For some students, they might find that the answer is greater than they thought. Of course this question can also be a matter of perspective, because what one student may consider too much may be insignificant to another. Opinions on the matter, and to one specific poet, even a single day of unjustified absence is too much lost time. Tom Wayman, author of, “Did I Miss Anything?” emphasizes through the use of scornful verbal irony, passionate symbolism, and a profound metaphor the purpose behind education and the importance of…show more content…
The verbal irony presented in the third stanza serves to reflect on the opinions of the author and his audience alike as the reader is presented with very sarcastic, contrasting statements. The author writes, “None of the content of this course has value or meaning / Take as many days off as you like:” (9-11). This must be an example of Wayman’s sarcasm, since its literal meaning is completely contrasted through the rest of the poem. Of course by writing this, he means the exact opposite, and in-fact believes that the course content is important, and missing several days is a bad habit. However the author chooses to present his feelings in this way, rather than a more direct way, in order to shed light on what some students may be feeling. The narrator, seeming to be a teacher by mentioning his exams and quizzes, speaks as though he is addressing one of his pupils. By understanding this, the reader can assume that the lack of meaning in the class is a student’s idea rather than his own. His sarcastic approach leaks a subtle tone of disdain for anyone who holds this…show more content…
The final stanza with more than a single verse states an interesting claim about the essence of a classroom. The narrator believes that his class contains, “a microcosm of human existence, assembled for you to query and examine and ponder” (27-28). The metaphor here is that Wayman equates the lessons of a class to the very definition and representation of our entire race. The microcosm of our nature, our goals, our triumphs, and our failures are all captured and somehow represented within the teachings of a classroom. Now the author’s respect and passion for learning can be seen and properly appreciated by the

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