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Utopies : Education



Un poème sur Summerhill
(by Hylda Sims des City Ramblers dont je parle au sujet du Skiffle Cellar de Soh, à Londres) :

Joie :
"We kids were having fun
at Summerhill "....

"not against the rule
To swim naked in the pool"....

Convivialité :
"people who
Will put their arms round you"...

Amour :
"every child of mine
Gets love passed down the line at Summerhill !"...


I wrote this poem, well song actually, a long time ago, about the school I went to when I was a kid. Well, actually it turned out to be about a school I didn’t go to, i.e. a boys’ public school.

The Ballad of William James

William James was sent to public school
Had to stand in line for assembly in the morning
A surly sea of grey, full of fidgeting and yawning
Buzzing round his brain went the telling off and warning
While somewhere in the sun
We kids were having fun
at Summerhill

William James would dream of girls in class
Passed a silly note with F-words as a feature
When he got found out said, It wasn’t only me, sir
Got beaten by his chums and a caning from his teacher
It’s not against the rule
To swim naked in the pool
at Summerhill

William James could never tell a soul
Couldn’t tell his pa, he’d be sure to get another
Had to be a man, not go blubbing to his mother
Hid it in his head, like a corpse inside a cupboard
There’s always people who
Will put their arms round you
at Summerhill

William James goes back to school today
Had a troubled night with dreams of blood and thunder
Had to take a pill to keep his breakfast under
Screwed his mouth up tight so he wouldn’t make a blunder
The first kids to arrive
Run shouting down the drive
at Summerhill

William James grew up to be a judge
Underneath his wig a pile of bones lay hidden
Screwed his mouth up tight as he sent boys off to prison
Got the OBE as a man of strength and vision
But every child of mine
Gets love passed down the line
from Summerhill


Son expérience à Summerhill a donné un livre :

"With a few penstrokes I brought back to life my old headmaster, A S Neill, gave him a new name and made him twenty years younger. I renamed the school Coralford after Ballantyne’s Coral Island. Golding’s stern British officer I turned into a school inspector (serves him right!). Pretty soon, just like William James had, he took over the scene, became the hero. I let him, for of course, as opposites often do, we had fallen in love."

Hylda Sims’ Summerhill novel Inspecting the Island is available by mail order from
Seven-Ply Yarns, 148 Crystal Palace Road, London SE229EP



Collage de Katell le Bourdonnec sur le thème des Utopies communautaires (à son Exposition de New York en 2009)