Our English Classes

A blog for Maribel's students at EOI and CEP Granada

The Minister for Exams

Posted by maribel on 01/06/2016

The Minister For Exams is a poem by Brian Patten.

When I was a child I sat an exam.
This test was so simple
There was no way i could fail.

Question 1. Describe the taste of the Moon.

It tastes like Creation I wrote,
it has the flavour of starlight.

Question 2. What colour is Love?

Love is the colour of the water a man
lost in the desert finds, I wrote.

Question 3. Why do snowflakes melt?

I wrote, they melt because they fall
on to the warm tongue of God.

There were other questions.
They were as simple.

I described the grief of Adam
when he was expelled from Eden.
I wrote down the exact weight of
an elephant’s dream

Yet today, many years later,
For my living I sweep the streets
or clean out the toilets of the fat
hotels.

Why? Because constantly I failed
my exams.
Why? Well, let me set a test.

Question 1. How large is a child’s
imagination?
Question 2. How shallow is the soul of the
Minister for exams?

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