Poems by Stanley Cook
Staff Photograph is a companion sequence to the widely acclaimed Form Photograph which was first published in 1971.
About the present volume Stanley Cook writes: “No doubt you could work out from these poems what my personal, distorting coefficient of what-makes-a-teacher is. Somewhere in the back of my mind I have taken to pieces all the teachers I ever knew and put them together again with ‘better’ artistic economy.”
Reviewing Form Photograph, The Teacher wrote: “NO TEACHER SHOULD BE WITHOUT A COPY.”
Stanley Cook was born in a South Yorkshire village in 1922. He read English at Oxford and, after teaching in schools in Lancashire and Yorkshire, became a lecturer at Huddersfield Polytechnic. He is married, with one son and two daughters. In 1972 he was the winner – from a field of over 1,200 – of the Cheltenham Festival / Sunday Telegraph “Poem For Our Time” (£100) Poetry Prize.
Is his greyness the worry of accumulated detail
Or does he need to change his razor blade?
Staff representative, the only one
Except in crises to go to the local meetings,
He stores the official handouts in his cupboard
Where filing cabinet merges into litter bin,
Forecasts pension rights and demonstrates
The Education Office gets, alas,
Your salary right. He always finishes
The syllabus by Easter, spots the questions
And, knowing the O level mark for a perfect definition,
Sees his candidates know them backwards
(No obvious advantage in knowing them,
At that stage, forwards). A kindly man,
Who from a generous impulse sees appendices
And multiplies your money by vulgar fractions.
Price £4.95 per copy post free (£3.30 post free to Associate Members)
Publication: 1976 (36 pages laminated paperback)