And shall I take the last dear fuel and heap it on my soul
by D. H. Lawrence (1885 -1930)
I guess I first read this poem when I was seventeen or eighteen. I "used" it today with a class of eleven/twelve year olds after more years in the classroom than I care to remember. Suddenly, it starts to really mean something to me... "I will keep some of my strength for myself". In this most thankless of jobs, you sometimes really do feel that your life force is burning away instead of being conserved for the future. Working in a council estate school with government and local council targets to meet, A4 ringbinders full of the usual governmentally driven bumf and lots of kids with "issues" caused by poverty, marital breakdown, television and negative role modelling at home - it's virtually impossible to keep going till you're sixty. As I have often remarked, it's like being in a "shit sandwich". Who was it who sang, "I gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing I ever do". Well surely I can't go on much longer. I owe it to myself to get out. As the Hull City returnee, Nick Barmby announced after leaving Leeds United - "Money Isn't Everything!"
*Thrall = slave