This Be The Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
It seems that her pupils - all A-level students of a certain intelligence and enough adolescent experience behind them to have been through a few good tiffs with their producers - couldn't see the point of this poem and found its depiction of family life "too negative."
Houston, I think we have a serious generational problem here. Some of these kids will eventually become university students; in fact, a few of them might end up in one of my classes, where they might be confronted with even "more negative" stuff (Hamlet - William Shakespeare's comforting portrayal of family life in feudal Denmark). How the hell am I going to relate to them if there is no common code between us, no shared store of experience on which we could base our communication?
I don't expect everyone to become a misanthropic cynic like me. But how can anyone read and understand literature without having at least a passive grasp of loneliness, conflict and pain?
But I guess I'm getting old ....