My son (born in wedlock) is asked to study this poem for his GSCE English exam; he has been ridiculed and bullied because of his response to it. He is a child of a married couple; his parents are – SUCKERS - according to the poet and the teacher's message – he is one of a minority in his class – a minority oppressed by the message of the poem!
It is a good poem; it makes a valid point. But is it the sort of poem that pubescent teenagers should be discussing as part of their exam projects?
Is this the way that we want our children to be introduced to the institution of marriage in school lessons?
Married People: “Suckers” – Katherine Philips
A married state affords but little ease
The best of husbands are so hard to please.
This in wives’ careful faces you may spell
Though they dissemble their misfortunes well.
A virgin state is crowned with much content;
It’s always happy as it’s innocent.
No blustering husbands to create your fears;
No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears;
No children’s cries for to offend your ears;
Few worldly crosses to distract your prayers:
Thus are you freed from all the cares that do
Attend on matrimony and a husband too.
Therefore Madam, be advised by me
Turn, turn apostate to love’s levity,
Suppress wild nature if she dare rebel.
There’s no such thing as leading apes in hell.
A good poem, but not the sort of message about marriage that I want my teen kids to learn.
It is not the sort of message about marriage and relationships that fits in with health education messages that the kids have.
Married People: “Suckers” -is a good poem for those of us who are old enough to appreciate it.
It is not a GCSE age poem and the person who put it into the 14/15 year old curiculum is a pervert who needs sacking!