Oh yes, it’s true, so true indeed
What William Butler Yeates has said
That we must labour day by day
For beauty from our feet to head.
We look upon our bodies and,
Unhappy with shape or size,
Not satisfied with breadth or height,
We very soon start to despise.
We study magazines and books.
We hunt and find our measuring tape.
We starve ourselves until we drop -
Achieving what? The perfect shape?
What do you mean by beautiful?
You can’t mean only fat or thin?
Do you refer to what you see,
Or other things below the skin?
True beauty lies within the filling,
So delve below that outer case.
Don’t trust your eyes to give you truth
From what appears just on the face.
Copyright on all my poems
Suggestions for classroom discussion etc
What do we mean by "beauty"? Why does the shape of our body, the colour of our skin, hair, eyes matter? Why do we have to become slaves to fashion?
What inner qualities are the things that people remember us by?
Bring to school illustrations of bottles, as above, with a quality that you think is very important on the label. Be prepared to say why this is important and in what way do you think you have shown this quality this week. Bring a bottle with a label of a quality that you think is something which you consider bad. Be prepared to say why you think it is. Has anyone in the news shown this particular quality to the world? - Josie
*Published poem: This was one of 400 poems which was published by AMS Educational in 2010. It is out of print now (retirement) - but I hope you also enjoy this poem and perhaps can recommend my website to others. Josie