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The child is the honor of the parents.

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Song of Wink Star

The Song of Wink Star
a happy story for children of all ages
story and text © Raj Arumugam, June 2008

☼ ☼

☼ Preamble

Come…children all, children of all ages…sit close and listen…
Come and listen to this happy story of the stars and of life…
Come children of the universe, children of all nations and of all races, and of all climates and of all kinds of space and dimensions and universes…
Come, dearest children of all beings of the living universe, come and listen to The Song of Wink Star…

Come and listen to this story, this happy story…listen, as the story itself sings to you…

Sit close then, and listen to the story that was not made by any, or written by a poet, or fashioned by grandfathers and grandmothers warming themselves at the fire of burning stars…

O dearest children all, come and listen to the story that lives
of itself, and that glows bright and happy….

Come…children all, children of all ages, come and listen to this happy story, the story so natural and smooth as life, as it sings itself to you….


The Song of Wink Star
a happy story for children of all ages


☼ 1


Night Child, always so light and gentle, slept on a flower.
And every night, before he went to sleep, he would look up at the sky.
He would look at the eastern corner, five o’clock.

And there he would see all the stars in near and distant galaxies that were only visible to the People of Star Eyes.

Night Child was one of the People of Star Eyes. And so he could see the stars. And of all the stars he could see, he loved to watch Wink Star.

Wink Star twinkled and winked and laughed.
Every night Wink Star did that. Winked and laughed.

[...] Read more

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Song Of Being A Child

When the child was a child
It walked with arms hanging
Wanted the stream to be a river and the river a torrent
And this puddle, the sea
When the child was a child, it didnt know
It was a child
Everything for it was filled with life and all life was one
Saw the horizon without trying to reach it
Couldnt rush itself and think on command
Was often terribly bored
And couldnt wait
Passed up greeting the moments
And prayed only with its lips
When the child was a child
It didnt have an opinion about a thing
Had no habits
Often sat crossed-legged, took off running
Had a cow lick in its hair
And didnt put on a face when photographed
When the child was a child
It was the time of the following questions
Why am I me and why not you
Why am I here and why not there
Why did time begin and where does space end
Isnt what I see and hear and smell
Just the appearance of the world in front of the world
Isnt life under the sun just a dream
Does evil actually exist in people
Who really are evil
Why cant it be that I who am
Wasnt before I was
And that sometime i, the i, I am
No longer will be the i, I am
When the child was a child
It gagged on spinach, on peas, on rice pudding
And on steamed cauliflower
And now eats all of it and not just because it has to
When the child was a child
It woke up once in a strange bed
And now time and time again
Many people seem beautiful to it
And now not so many and now only if its lucky
It had a precise picture of paradise
And now can only vaguely conceive of it at best
It couldnt imagine nothingness
And today shudders in the face of it
Go for the ball
Which today rolls between its legs
With its Im here it came
Into the house which now is empty

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

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Child Molester

Note- I wanted to write something something darker and deeper then what I currently have been.

This is what came out.

Dark Rewrite of Britney Spear's Womanizer

Storyline-One woman takes the stand that no one else will to save her street from the unthinkable

Perverted neighbor
I know where you're from
I think it's best you get your twisted... going
Got more then just a clue what you're up to
You can play squeaky clean tp all the others gathered here
But I know what you really are, what you really are sickie

Look at you
Tryin' to act so on the up and up
Sickie, you
Got everyone else here fooled
But not me, oh no, not me
Fakin' like deep down you're a good one
Let's just lay our cards out on the table
Get it all out now
Call 'em like we both know 'em

Child molester, child-child molester
You're a child molester
Oh, child molester, oh you're a child molester, sickie
You-you know-you know you are
You-you know-you know you are
Child molester, child molester, child molester

Sicko, don't try stage that front
Oh no, no, not with me
Cos I know just-just what you are, ah, ah, what you are
Sicko, don't try to stage that front
Oh no, no, not with me
Cos I know just-just what you are, ah, ah, what you are
(Spoken) You got some kind of twisted game goin'
You got them all believin' you're so charmin'
But I won't let you keep on doin' it
You child molester

Sicko, don't try stage that front
Oh no, no, not with me
Cos I know just-just what you are, ah, ah, what you are
Sicko, don't try to stage that front
Oh no, no, not with me
Cos I know just-just what you are, ah, ah, what you are
(Spoken) You say I'm crazy

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sixth Book

THE English have a scornful insular way
Of calling the French light. The levity
Is in the judgment only, which yet stands;
For say a foolish thing but oft enough,
(And here's the secret of a hundred creeds,–
Men get opinions as boys learn to spell,
By re-iteration chiefly) the same thing
Shall pass at least for absolutely wise,
And not with fools exclusively. And so,
We say the French are light, as if we said
The cat mews, or the milch-cow gives us milk:
Say rather, cats are milked, and milch cows mew,
For what is lightness but inconsequence,
Vague fluctuation 'twixt effect and cause,
Compelled by neither? Is a bullet light,
That dashes from the gun-mouth, while the eye
Winks, and the heart beats one, to flatten itself
To a wafer on the white speck on a wall
A hundred paces off? Even so direct,
So sternly undivertible of aim,
Is this French people.
All idealists
Too absolute and earnest, with them all
The idea of a knife cuts real flesh;
And still, devouring the safe interval
Which Nature placed between the thought and act,
They threaten conflagration to the world
And rush with most unscrupulous logic on
Impossible practice. Set your orators
To blow upon them with loud windy mouths
Through watchword phrases, jest or sentiment,
Which drive our burley brutal English mobs
Like so much chaff, whichever way they blow,–
This light French people will not thus be driven.
They turn indeed; but then they turn upon
Some central pivot of their thought and choice,
And veer out by the force of holding fast.
–That's hard to understand, for Englishmen
Unused to abstract questions, and untrained
To trace the involutions, valve by valve,
In each orbed bulb-root of a general truth,
And mark what subtly fine integument
Divides opposed compartments. Freedom's self
Comes concrete to us, to be understood,
Fixed in a feudal form incarnately
To suit our ways of thought and reverence,
The special form, with us, being still the thing.
With us, I say, though I'm of Italy
My mother's birth and grave, by father's grave
And memory; let it be,–a poet's heart

[...] Read more

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The Story Of Nevermore

now I cast a hypnotic spell
to free a child from her hell
surrender now child fall deep in my spell
just come to me child and all will be well

rise now child in sleep you now come
walk now child thought your scenes stay numb
fall now child in to a peaceful dream
but nothing there is as it seems

even thought child in you dream all is right
really your body walks still throw the night
relax now child let that dream ease your mind
follow now child let my voice be your guild

don’t worry child my intentions are pure
you’ll be happy with me of that I am sure
I’m just so tired of being alone
I want a child all of my own

so sleepwalk now child to the pull of my charm
sleepwalk to me child you’ll be safe in my arms
nevermore child shall you cry out in pain
your old life will be lost but a new one will be gained

sleepwalk to me child you’ll be my daughter soon
find your way to me child by the light of the moon
sleepwalk to me child and I’ll show you my ways
all the things I can show you; you’ll be amazed

sleepwalk to me child your almost here
come to me child soon all will be clear
sleepwalk to me child come meet your new mom
soon the whole world will rest in your palm

I see you now child I have you in sight
I run to you child now all is right
your eyes are dazed child unseeing and blank
I can see you now child what a great daughter you’ll make

come to me child collapse in my arms
come to me child you’re safe now from harm
I hold you now child and cradle you close to my heart
I hum to you child as I carry you throw the dark

were home now dear child far from all you ones knew
were home now dear child only one thing left to do
I made this child a special potion just for you
and with it your life begins anew

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What Parents When Old, Want From Their Children …

When you were small, a helpless kid,
Just imagine what parents did,
From feeding to keeping you clean –
A routine that had always been!

And now when parents are quite aged,
They feel like birds both that are caged;
Just give them half the love they gave;
Don’t lose your temper / misbehave!

When you were small and could not bathe,
Mom bathed you with towel to swathe,
And wiped you dry and combed your hair,
All your mischief, she had to bear!

When parents are now pretty old,
Or have a fever, catch a cold,
Should not the children care for them,
And treat them for each new problem?

When you were just a little child,
And parents scolded you so mild,
To show you what was wrong and right,
And chalk a future that was bright!

And now when parents have gone weak,
To walk, your assistance, they seek,
Oblige them with a heart all glad:
Old age is less happy, much sad!

When you were craving for good food,
Your mother cooked it as she should,
And heaved a sigh of great relief,
When you’d slept, in disbelief!

And now, when parents ask something,
Be kind and courteously do bring,
They cannot buy whatev’r they feel;
They cannot run or walk or kneel!

When you’d joined school for the first time,
And could not say even a rhyme,
Your mom had taught you how to write,
And sang a ‘lullaby’ at night!

And now when parents cannot read,
And reached a stage, they cannot feed,
Shouldn’t children help them with these chores,
And see that they don’t get bed-sores?

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Surfs Up

A diamond necklace played the pawn
Hand in hand some drummed along, oh
To a handsome man and baton
A blind class aristocracy
Back through the opera glass you see
The pit and the pendulum drawn
Columnated ruins domino
Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping?
Hung velvet overtaken me
Dim chandelier awaken me
To a song dissolved in the dawn
The music hall a costly bow
The music all is lost for now
To a muted trumperter swan
Columnated ruins domino
Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping, brother john?
Dove nested towers the hour was
Strike the street quicksilver moon
Carriage across the fog
Two-step to lamp lights cellar tune
The laughs come hard in auld lang syne
The glass was raised, the fired rose
The fullness of the wine, the dim last toasting
While at port adieu or die
A choke of grief hard hardened i
Beyond belief a broken man too tough to cry
Surfs up
Aboard a tidal wave
Come about hard and join
The young and often spring you gave
I heard the word
Wonderful thing
A childrens song
Child, child, child, child, child
A child is the father of the man
Child, child, child, child, child
A child is the father of the man
A childrens song
Have you listened as they played
Their song is love
And the children know the way
Thats why the child is the father to the man
Child, child, child, child, child
Child, child, child, child, child
Na na na na na na na na
Child, child, child, child, child
Thats why the child is the father to the man
Child, child, child, child, child

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III. The Other Half-Rome

Another day that finds her living yet,
Little Pompilia, with the patient brow
And lamentable smile on those poor lips,
And, under the white hospital-array,
A flower-like body, to frighten at a bruise
You'd think, yet now, stabbed through and through again,
Alive i' the ruins. 'T is a miracle.
It seems that, when her husband struck her first,
She prayed Madonna just that she might live
So long as to confess and be absolved;
And whether it was that, all her sad life long
Never before successful in a prayer,
This prayer rose with authority too dread,—
Or whether, because earth was hell to her,
By compensation, when the blackness broke
She got one glimpse of quiet and the cool blue,
To show her for a moment such things were,—
Or else,—as the Augustinian Brother thinks,
The friar who took confession from her lip,—
When a probationary soul that moved
From nobleness to nobleness, as she,
Over the rough way of the world, succumbs,
Bloodies its last thorn with unflinching foot,
The angels love to do their work betimes,
Staunch some wounds here nor leave so much for God.
Who knows? However it be, confessed, absolved,
She lies, with overplus of life beside
To speak and right herself from first to last,
Right the friend also, lamb-pure, lion-brave,
Care for the boy's concerns, to save the son
From the sire, her two-weeks' infant orphaned thus,
And—with best smile of all reserved for him—
Pardon that sire and husband from the heart.
A miracle, so tell your Molinists!

There she lies in the long white lazar-house.
Rome has besieged, these two days, never doubt,
Saint Anna's where she waits her death, to hear
Though but the chink o' the bell, turn o' the hinge
When the reluctant wicket opes at last,
Lets in, on now this and now that pretence,
Too many by half,—complain the men of art,—
For a patient in such plight. The lawyers first
Paid the due visit—justice must be done;
They took her witness, why the murder was.
Then the priests followed properly,—a soul
To shrive; 't was Brother Celestine's own right,
The same who noises thus her gifts abroad.
But many more, who found they were old friends,
Pushed in to have their stare and take their talk

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The Bench and the Blonde in Black

His Honor walked into the shop
For of shopping his Honor was fond.
Did she blush? Did her eyes indicate shy surprise
In that slim little, trim little blonde?
Did his bachelor heart miss a beat?
Did she flash him a smile as she turned?
Did his Honor smile back at this vision in black?
Said his Honor, 'The case is adjourned.'

His Honor walked into his court.
Said the advocate, 'Shop-ladies lack
Much appeal, I submit, when these dark frocks they fit -'
Said his Honor, 'I like 'em in black.
Yes, I like 'em in black when they're blonde.
And I am not concerned with the cost.
It's a question of taste; and I've no time to waste.'
Said his Honor, 'Your action is lost.'

His Honor walked into the church.
'I will,' breathed his Honor, and beamed
On his blonde who, alack, was no longer in black,
For in ivory satin she gleamed.
Said the clergyman, 'Say after me -'
Said his Honor, 'My true wedded wife. . .
Er - at - sickness and health....and - er - all worldly wealth....'
Said his Honor, 'The sentence is life.'

His Honor walked up and walked down,
Sobbed the blonde, 'But you don't seem to care!
Why, my grey, pink and green are not fit to be seen;
And I haven't a rag fit to wear!
And you always did say I looked nice
In black suits? Twenty guineas? What fun!'
Then she smiled, kissed his neck, as he wrote out the cheque.
Sighed his Honor, 'Your suit, dear, is won.'

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IV. Tertium Quid

True, Excellency—as his Highness says,
Though she's not dead yet, she's as good as stretched
Symmetrical beside the other two;
Though he's not judged yet, he's the same as judged,
So do the facts abound and superabound:
And nothing hinders that we lift the case
Out of the shade into the shine, allow
Qualified persons to pronounce at last,
Nay, edge in an authoritative word
Between this rabble's-brabble of dolts and fools
Who make up reasonless unreasoning Rome.
"Now for the Trial!" they roar: "the Trial to test
"The truth, weigh husband and weigh wife alike
"I' the scales of law, make one scale kick the beam!"
Law's a machine from which, to please the mob,
Truth the divinity must needs descend
And clear things at the play's fifth act—aha!
Hammer into their noddles who was who
And what was what. I tell the simpletons
"Could law be competent to such a feat
"'T were done already: what begins next week
"Is end o' the Trial, last link of a chain
"Whereof the first was forged three years ago
"When law addressed herself to set wrong right,
"And proved so slow in taking the first step
"That ever some new grievance,—tort, retort,
"On one or the other side,—o'ertook i' the game,
"Retarded sentence, till this deed of death
"Is thrown in, as it were, last bale to boat
"Crammed to the edge with cargo—or passengers?
"'Trecentos inseris: ohe, jam satis est!
"'Huc appelle!'—passengers, the word must be."
Long since, the boat was loaded to my eyes.
To hear the rabble and brabble, you'd call the case
Fused and confused past human finding out.
One calls the square round, t' other the round square—
And pardonably in that first surprise
O' the blood that fell and splashed the diagram:
But now we've used our eyes to the violent hue
Can't we look through the crimson and trace lines?
It makes a man despair of history,
Eusebius and the established fact—fig's end!
Oh, give the fools their Trial, rattle away
With the leash of lawyers, two on either side—
One barks, one bites,—Masters Arcangeli
And Spreti,—that's the husband's ultimate hope
Against the Fisc and the other kind of Fisc,
Bound to do barking for the wife: bow—wow!
Why, Excellency, we and his Highness here
Would settle the matter as sufficiently

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The Impact Of Poverty On Education

THE IMPACT OF POVERTY ON EDUCATION.

INTRODUCTION

There are so many different tools that have been thought relevant in people’s developmental projects both at individual and societal levels. Education is one of such practical tools. Importantly to note, there are also various meanings that denote the broad term ‘education’. In this essay, however, we are mainly interested in defining formal education since our discussion will dwell much on it. According to Nwomonoh (1998) , formal education is the process of gaining knowledge, attitudes, information and skills during the course of life especially at school.

Though education is said to be so instrumental in human development but also in the revamping of world economies, it is very unfortunate that education systems, world wide, are being held to ransom all because of poverty at both governmental and household levels. According to Thibault (2009) , poverty means the shortage of common things such as food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, all of which determine our quality of life. It may also include lack of access to opportunities like education and employment which aid the escape of poverty.

Problems in our society are interconnected in one way or the other, just like poverty and personal family problems affect a student’s capability to learn. Improving education entails improving the living conditions of students. Having in mind that education is basically responsible for the development of many countries including Malawi, as the back ground suggests, we cannot afford to bypass such a vital element without a mention. Considering also the fact that poverty is one of the forces that come in the way; blocking the success of education, we feel it rational to look at how the two realities, education and poverty, affect each other both positively and negatively. That is also why we are convinced that this topic is worth studying. Our awareness of this source, poverty, and its impact on education will enable us devise some proper measures of intervention with the hope of minimizing the negative impact of poverty on education. This point, in short, explains the purpose of our investigation and why we are so passionate in getting into this research. During the whole discussion we are being guided by two questions thus, ‘does poverty really affect education? And if it does, what points do we have on the positive and negative impacts of poverty on education? ’

METHODOLOGY

The study was basically qualitative in approach because of the nature of the issue that was being addressed. This was the case because the issue of how poverty affects education, both positively and negatively is particularly very difficult to predict the conclusions without penetrating into the core of the issue. For instance, one may unreasonably rush into concluding that poverty affects education negatively only and we cannot even dare to speak of poverty affecting education positively. The study was conducted in three schools namely; Mulunguzi, Masongola and Chirunga Private Secondary schools in Zomba district between 24th April and 3rd May. In this research we used both government and private funded schools to have a more balanced result on how poverty affects formal education in these different institutions. The information required for the study was collected through group interviews of form three students and individual interviews with teachers using semi-structured interview schedules. We opted to use these interviews in the first place because we felt books are more theoretical whereas a field research is practical and it involves real life experiences. Nevertheless, we still used desk research as a supplementary source of information and for clarity in some areas.

RESULTS

Positive impacts of poverty on education
To begin with, poverty encourages one to get educated and of course work hard in class. This is because the problems faced due to poverty are very serious and therefore students who are from poverty stricken families strive to end the problems and one of the best solutions is through education. That is to say, if a person, for instance, due to poverty, is taking just a meal in a day instead of three meals, and again if he/she is sometimes sleeping on an empty stomach, he/she will resort to education bearing in mind that if he/she gets educated they will secure formal employment and eventually be able to make ends meet for themselves as well as fending for their families.

Not only does poverty encourage one to get educated, but also it helped in the introduction of free primary education. In Malawi, for instance, when Bakili Muluzi became president, he introduced free primary education and he had eliminated the requirements for school uniform forthwith (Kadzamira & Rose,2001) . This had increased the access to education dramatically as those pupils who were coming from less privileged families were also given access to this free primary education. It should also be noted that the free primary education system was not only implemented to fulfill an electoral pledge but also bearing in mind that some families were not able to send their children to school due to poverty. Free primary education was there to deal with illiteracy by reducing families’ direct costs of education. Again due to the influx in the number of pupils in primary schools; there was a lack of teachers. Sonani (2002) , testifies that the Ministry of Education re-employed all retired teachers below the age of 65. This also meant that the once retired teachers got back to their source of income which helped them support their families as well as hauling the economy of the country. The implementation of free primary education system in Malawi forced the government to provide infrastructures so as to accommodate the large number of pupils in these schools. Simply put, poverty had led to the introduction of free primary education which means that more children are going to school, and again more teachers are being trained and getting employed and finally the construction of school blocks culminating into infrastructural development, all these branching from poverty.

We may also look at poverty from a positive angle bearing in mind that when a country is poor more funds and donations come into it. These funds and donations are also given to the education sector to build new infrastructures and in the maintenance of already existing ones in the sector. These privileged countries also provide learning materials to schools that are poor as a result students in these less privileged schools perform well in accordance with the amount and quality of the learning materials that they have been provided with. For instance, a United States based non governmental organization known as “Water for People” handed over 44 water toilets they built to Chimwankhunda primary school. The school toilet facilities had been vandalized 11 years ago but because of poverty the school could not renovate them (Gausi,2007) .

In addition, these funds and donations help more people to get educated. This is so because people can use funds as school fees, pocket money and buy stationery. The donations may include library books, chairs and writing materials. These can make a conducive environment for one to learn since there will be enough facilities at the school. For instance, with funding from the “United States Agency for International Development” (USAID) ,3,300 needy Malawian primary school girls are being funded. They are being provided with food, clothing, school supplies and hygienic products like soap and body lotion (Muhaliwa,2005) . Likewise,500 pupils at Katoto primary school in Mzuzu no longer sit on the floors during lessons courtesy of Southern Bottlers Limited and Lions Club of Limbe. Before these funds and donations, pupils used to sit on the floor due to scarcity of desks. These donations improved the pupils’ school attendance in such a way that pupils have started going to school regularly.

In the same line, a needy student can be given a scholarship to go further with his/her education. In this case the scholarship is given to the person just because he/she cannot manage to pay school fees on her own. This in turn benefits the needy person and the community at large. In this situation poverty has assisted in the development of education in an area by beckoning funds and donations from rich countries and organisations.

Further more; in most cases poverty facilitates one’s ambitions to attain formal education. It becomes easier for a poor child to put much of his concentration on education as compared to a rich child. This is because a poverty stricken student will have less destructive materials for entertainment. He/she will also have less or no money to indulge him/herself in activities that require spending a lot of money for instance, drinking beer. Sometimes even if the child can find money he/she can buy basic needs and not just spending it anyhow. Contrast to this a rich child may obtain things like ipods, mp3s, games for entertainment. These things in most cases destruct the concentration of students in their studies. As a result, one’s class performance is negatively affected since most of his/her time is being spent on entertainment.

Negative impacts of poverty on education

Just as a coin has got two sides, a head and a tail, poverty also, apart from having positive impacts on education, it does have negative impacts on the same. We have talked much about the positive face of poverty on education. We shall surely do ourselves injustice if we do not look at the negative part. In spite of the fact that poverty has an impact on education that is worth complimenting, we cannot afford in this discussion to overlook the point that so many students have been forced to leave the corridors of learning institutions due to the same poverty. One of the reasons that force some students leave the learning institutions prematurely is pregnancy, which in most cases, come because of poverty. It is almost common knowledge that a good number of students who come from poor families wish they could be sailing in the same boat with those who come from well to do families as far as luxurious life is concerned. The poor students constantly feel that there is something missing at the core psychologically. With this feeling in their minds, they tend to regard themselves as incomplete and not accepted socially. Consequently, they envy the rich students and squarely want to posses the things that are associated with the rich students. Very unfortunate that the poor students’ parents cannot afford to fulfill their children’s desires like what the rich parents would provide. Because the pull towards recognition is too strong for the poor students to resist, they end up in indulging themselves into prostitution in their search for money. Pity indeed that instead of recreating, as anticipated, their promiscuous behavior sees most of them getting pregnant and for some very unfortunate ones get even HIV and other STIs. From this discussion, commonsense convinces us that this school dropp out due to pregnancy is one of the negative impacts of poverty on education.

Adding more flesh to this discussion, we can also appreciate that hunger has been so instrumental in bringing down the standards of education world wide, in general, and Malawi, in particular. Frankly speaking, there are very few students if not none, who concentrate on their studies on empty stomachs. Food is one of the basic needs that every person is obliged to have if he/she is to survive. It is not surprising, therefore, to see some students performing miserably in class simply because they have not taken enough food or they have taken none altogether. The question of hunger finds its way into the education system because the government has failed to provide adequate food in most of its boarding schools. This is poverty at governmental level. There are also some students who are not boarders but still endure the hostile reality of hunger right in their homes. This is due to poverty at household level. It is sad that poverty, both at governmental and household level, has helped in engineering the deteriorating of education standards in Malawi.

Bearing in mind that it is only the eagle that can tell us the real whisper of a cloud, we visited Masongola Secondary school with the hope of getting first hand information from the students and their teachers since they are the ones who mostly benefit or get destructed by poverty. The Masongola secondary school students and their teacher, Mr. Enock Abraham, testified to us during an interview that government’s inability to provide extra food, apart from the usual beans that the institution offers, has seen many students developing ulcers. It would sound bizarre to reason that one can attend classes whilst he/she is on a hospital bed battling with ulcers. The Masongola students further testified that most poor students who have ulcers just bow down out of the race of learning because they cannot afford to buy extra food whenever the institution is serving the students beans.

This pitiful development goes beyond the boundaries of Masongola secondary school. Mulunguzi secondary school as Mr……the head teacher at the institution testifies, has not been spared from the scourge of school dropp outs simply because the school has not been able to provide extra or adequate food to students who cannot take what their friends take on health grounds. Needless to say this leaves the education standards in Malawi vacillating. It is a pity that though we have wrestled with this question of poverty a dozen times, we have not been successful in the battle. At one point in time, the government attempted to minimize the chances of school dropout in primary schools through its provision of porridge to pupils in the junior section. This attempt was in itself a good gesture but the government has failed to implement the initiative further in other schools that up to now have not benefited from the program.

It may not sound an exaggeration if we may say poverty has also forced a good number of students to give up their hopes of getting educated simply because they find it so difficult traveling to and from their respective schools. Lack of transport means, in short, has pushed them well towards the blink of despair as far as attaining formal education is concerned. This point speaks for itself how poverty can sometimes work on the education’s disadvantage.

As we go further with this discussion, we also appreciate the fact that the problem that mostly hinders a student’s success is inadequate resources that include; few teachers and learning materials. It must be highlighted that these problems are not only in developing countries but they may also find their way in reasonably developed countries like South Africa. In a developing country like Malawi, the education system encounters these problems because of the government’s failure to look into problems of infrastructure, capacity and availability of teaching and learning materials (Nkawike,2005) . The Muluzi government did a little if any; in as far as infrastructure is concerned. Lack of school blocks facilitated by a large number of pupils due to the introduction of the free primary education in 1994, forced pupils to have lessons under trees. In 2003, for example, lack of school blocks resulted in a tragedy at Nkomachi in Lilongwe when a tree fell onto an outdoor class, resulting in injury and deaths of pupils (Mvula & Chanika,2004) . This problem of learning materials continues till date, in all levels of the education system. According to Abraham (2009) , the school has always had shortage of learning blocks to an extent that the Physical Science and Biology laboratories are used as classrooms. There is also great shortage of books in all departments, and some departments like the technical department needs new equipment and current books which are very expensive. With this unfortunate situation we cannot anticipate good performance from Masongola secondary school.

In order to deal with these issues, the Muluzi government thought it wise to disregard the provision of learning materials in schools. Instead the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) pass mark was reduced to ensure the success of students in their examinations. Even the director of Basic Education, Nelson Kaperemera admitted that funds intended for learning materials were servicing the debts of government at the expense of improving quality education. Instead of reducing the pass mark, the government and other stake holders should strive to improve quality of education, improve teacher salaries, and provide adequate materials and train teachers properly (Malawi News,2006) .

In developing countries like Malawi, the schools are understaffed (teaching personnel) and they tend to be handling a large number of students for long hours. Furthermore, the teachers are subjected to meager salaries, which are even made late. The government does not seem to have the welfare of teachers at heart, for instance the education Manager for Phalombe, Enoch Ali says the district is facing a dire shortage of teachers, a situation that is contributing to low education standards. The teacher pupil ratio in Phalombe is 1: 120, whilst the recommended ratio is 1: 60 (The Nation,2006) . Due to low pay teachers resort to organizing part time classes, which demand an extra amount of money on top of the normal fees. These changes clearly affect those students who come from very poor families, as they do not receive adequate studies because of lack of money.
This does not only occur in secondary schools, but it also happens in universities. As the academic staff of the Universities go on strike because of the government’s reluctance to increase their salaries. One considers how this is supposed to retain staff in the University. As a result lecturers spend more time doing consultancies; instead of preparing lectures and doing University mandated research. If we are serious about fighting poverty, formal education is the hub of ideas to fight these problems by improving its standards (Kapasula,2008) .
Child labour is one of the major problems that contribute to school dropp out. The majority of child labour victims are children who are living in poverty. This is so because they lack basic needs, for this reason they are forced even against their will to do any kind of work in order to gain financial wealth. This, therefore, affects school attendance. Evidence of school dropp out due to child labour is found in central region where most children are being employed in estates. This region has high tobacco production. Since this crop demands a lot of work, children are at high demand because they do not claim high wages compared to adults. Research, therefore, showed that the percentage of children attending schools is lower compared to that of northern and southern region (Nyirongo,2004) . We have the case of two brothers aged between 12 and 15 who were forced to work at a tobacco farm at Mpherembe in Kasungu district, where they were receiving 150 kwacha a day due to poverty (Namangale,2005) . We can see that child labour has a great impact on education because through it, a lot of children are being deprived of their right to education as they spend most of their time working.

In addition to that, Chirwa (2003) found out that child labour is also taking place in people’s houses. In this case children are forced to dropp out of school either by parents or on their own, to work in neighbouring homes. Here one of the victims is a 12 year old girl Elizabeth Chalimba, who left school when she was in standard six to work as a nanny in order to support her siblings. Children from low income families are at risk because though school is their only hope for a better future, they dropp out because their parents are failing to provide them with basic needs. Apart from child labour, psychological problems due to poverty is also another cause of school dropp outs. Research shows that the impact of poverty is greater on children as opposed to adults. Firstly, the problem arises due to the environment in which these children are raised. These environments being impoverished, they are intellectually unstimulating, and lack of stimulation results in impaired intellectual development of a child. This in turn contributes to failure in class which can later on lead to school dropp out.

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II. Half-Rome

What, you, Sir, come too? (Just the man I'd meet.)
Be ruled by me and have a care o' the crowd:
This way, while fresh folk go and get their gaze:
I'll tell you like a book and save your shins.
Fie, what a roaring day we've had! Whose fault?
Lorenzo in Lucina,—here's a church
To hold a crowd at need, accommodate
All comers from the Corso! If this crush
Make not its priests ashamed of what they show
For temple-room, don't prick them to draw purse
And down with bricks and mortar, eke us out
The beggarly transept with its bit of apse
Into a decent space for Christian ease,
Why, to-day's lucky pearl is cast to swine.
Listen and estimate the luck they've had!
(The right man, and I hold him.)

Sir, do you see,
They laid both bodies in the church, this morn
The first thing, on the chancel two steps up,
Behind the little marble balustrade;
Disposed them, Pietro the old murdered fool
To the right of the altar, and his wretched wife
On the other side. In trying to count stabs,
People supposed Violante showed the most,
Till somebody explained us that mistake;
His wounds had been dealt out indifferent where,
But she took all her stabbings in the face,
Since punished thus solely for honour's sake,
Honoris causâ, that's the proper term.
A delicacy there is, our gallants hold,
When you avenge your honour and only then,
That you disfigure the subject, fray the face,
Not just take life and end, in clownish guise.
It was Violante gave the first offence,
Got therefore the conspicuous punishment:
While Pietro, who helped merely, his mere death
Answered the purpose, so his face went free.
We fancied even, free as you please, that face
Showed itself still intolerably wronged;
Was wrinkled over with resentment yet,
Nor calm at all, as murdered faces use,
Once the worst ended: an indignant air
O' the head there was—'t is said the body turned
Round and away, rolled from Violante's side
Where they had laid it loving-husband-like.
If so, if corpses can be sensitive,
Why did not he roll right down altar-step,
Roll on through nave, roll fairly out of church,
Deprive Lorenzo of the spectacle,

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V. Count Guido Franceschini

Thanks, Sir, but, should it please the reverend Court,
I feel I can stand somehow, half sit down
Without help, make shift to even speak, you see,
Fortified by the sip of … why, 't is wine,
Velletri,—and not vinegar and gall,
So changed and good the times grow! Thanks, kind Sir!
Oh, but one sip's enough! I want my head
To save my neck, there's work awaits me still.
How cautious and considerate … aie, aie, aie,
Nor your fault, sweet Sir! Come, you take to heart
An ordinary matter. Law is law.
Noblemen were exempt, the vulgar thought,
From racking; but, since law thinks otherwise,
I have been put to the rack: all's over now,
And neither wrist—what men style, out of joint:
If any harm be, 't is the shoulder-blade,
The left one, that seems wrong i' the socket,—Sirs,
Much could not happen, I was quick to faint,
Being past my prime of life, and out of health.
In short, I thank you,—yes, and mean the word.
Needs must the Court be slow to understand
How this quite novel form of taking pain,
This getting tortured merely in the flesh,
Amounts to almost an agreeable change
In my case, me fastidious, plied too much
With opposite treatment, used (forgive the joke)
To the rasp-tooth toying with this brain of mine,
And, in and out my heart, the play o' the probe.
Four years have I been operated on
I' the soul, do you see—its tense or tremulous part—
My self-respect, my care for a good name,
Pride in an old one, love of kindred—just
A mother, brothers, sisters, and the like,
That looked up to my face when days were dim,
And fancied they found light there—no one spot,
Foppishly sensitive, but has paid its pang.
That, and not this you now oblige me with,
That was the Vigil-torment, if you please!
The poor old noble House that drew the rags
O' the Franceschini's once superb array
Close round her, hoped to slink unchallenged by,—
Pluck off these! Turn the drapery inside out
And teach the tittering town how scarlet wears!
Show men the lucklessness, the improvidence
Of the easy-natured Count before this Count,
The father I have some slight feeling for,
Who let the world slide, nor foresaw that friends
Then proud to cap and kiss their patron's shoe,
Would, when the purse he left held spider-webs,
Properly push his child to wall one day!

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(Freedom poems) Fairy child

Fairy child
You child of a god
Fairy child
You have given
up your freedom
Fairy
Fairy child
And now you roam
our world free
Fairy child
because
you know no borders
and your education
Ain't enough fairy child
So you cross borders
to disrespect international
Treaties
You're wanted by INTERPOL
(Can you spell that out loud?)
and the host of
The international agencies
you fairy child
You will know forwards
Fairy child
That the world serves
the interests of one
Super state
When the sanctions
begin to bite fairy child
You will cry like your
Fairy mama fairy
Because here there's
the scarcity
of the sanctions busters
Fairy child
You better go away fairy child
And find yourself
A love mate in Tokyo
Fairy child
'Cause in Tel Aviv
They hunt down the black
infiltrators
Yes they do fairy child
'cause they fear the black brothers
'cause they and the Israelis
Share the same black ancestor fairy child
You better run my brother
And fall in love and marry yourself
off to a Ethiop woman
To get a alien citizenship fairy child

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Charles Baudelaire

Beowulf

LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
awing the earls. Since erst he lay
friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
till before him the folk, both far and near,
who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
gave him gifts: a good king he!
To him an heir was afterward born,
a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
to favor the folk, feeling their woe
that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
the Wielder of Wonder, with world's renown.
Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him,
son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
So becomes it a youth to quit him well
with his father's friends, by fee and gift,
that to aid him, aged, in after days,
come warriors willing, should war draw nigh,
liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds
shall an earl have honor in every clan.
Forth he fared at the fated moment,
sturdy Scyld to the shelter of God.
Then they bore him over to ocean's billow,
loving clansmen, as late he charged them,
while wielded words the winsome Scyld,
the leader beloved who long had ruled….
In the roadstead rocked a ring-dight vessel,
ice-flecked, outbound, atheling's barge:
there laid they down their darling lord
on the breast of the boat, the breaker-of-rings,
by the mast the mighty one. Many a treasure
fetched from far was freighted with him.
No ship have I known so nobly dight
with weapons of war and weeds of battle,
with breastplate and blade: on his bosom lay
a heaped hoard that hence should go
far o'er the flood with him floating away.
No less these loaded the lordly gifts,
thanes' huge treasure, than those had done
who in former time forth had sent him
sole on the seas, a suckling child.
High o'er his head they hoist the standard,
a gold-wove banner; let billows take him,
gave him to ocean. Grave were their spirits,
mournful their mood. No man is able

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Lonely Child

Lonely child in the night.
Under heaven's golden lights.
I heard you cry near a stream.
Where maidens sing and sleep and dream.
Lonely child have no fear, the lord will dry your heart-
sick tears.
The night is young, a blue jay flies and whispers softly
please don't cry.
The lord above is free to roam he will help you from his
throne.
The lord loves you true and dear.
He only laughs he never swears.
Lonely child please don't run, beneath the sky, moon or sun.
You parents love you yes they do.
The clouds have dimmed, but no one knew.
Lonely child a lion prowls.
This lion is special he'd dare not bite.
He only hunts game in the wild never children o' lonely child.
Lonely child go back home, cross the deserts
where buffalo roamed.
The lord will lead you safe and clear.
So don't you cry nor shed a tear.
You parents miss your loving touch.
Your loving hugs and summer blush.
They miss the way you'd smile and grin.
You think they wouldn't you're only ten?
Lonely child in the night.
Your parents searched day and night.
For a child in the wild.
Their only son you lonely child.
Lonely child don't you cry.
And don't you dare tell a lie, on the lion in the wild.
He'd never hurt you lonely child.
Your parents love you very much.
So let them feel your loving touch.
Lonely child in the night.
A little dove flew, in fright.
I know you love your parents so.
So run and tell them let them know.
Let them know how you feel.
Let them know your love is real.
Lonely child run or fly.
Soar the heavens and the skies.
Soar the rivers and the streams.
Your smile will make the moonlight, beam.
Lonely child in the night, an angel, there's no need for fright.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

First Book

OF writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,–
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

I, writing thus, am still what men call young;
I have not so far left the coasts of life
To travel inland, that I cannot hear
That murmur of the outer Infinite
Which unweaned babies smile at in their sleep
When wondered at for smiling; not so far,
But still I catch my mother at her post
Beside the nursery-door, with finger up,
'Hush, hush–here's too much noise!' while her sweet eyes
Leap forward, taking part against her word
In the child's riot. Still I sit and feel
My father's slow hand, when she had left us both,
Stroke out my childish curls across his knee;
And hear Assunta's daily jest (she knew
He liked it better than a better jest)
Inquire how many golden scudi went
To make such ringlets. O my father's hand,
Stroke the poor hair down, stroke it heavily,–
Draw, press the child's head closer to thy knee!
I'm still too young, too young to sit alone.

I write. My mother was a Florentine,
Whose rare blue eyes were shut from seeing me
When scarcely I was four years old; my life,
A poor spark snatched up from a failing lamp
Which went out therefore. She was weak and frail;
She could not bear the joy of giving life–
The mother's rapture slew her. If her kiss
Had left a longer weight upon my lips,
It might have steadied the uneasy breath,
And reconciled and fraternised my soul
With the new order. As it was, indeed,
I felt a mother-want about the world,
And still went seeking, like a bleating lamb
Left out at night, in shutting up the fold,–
As restless as a nest-deserted bird
Grown chill through something being away, though what
It knows not. I, Aurora Leigh, was born
To make my father sadder, and myself
Not overjoyous, truly. Women know
The way to rear up children, (to be just,)

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The mother and the artist

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of wonderfully emollient freshness; every
unfurling instant of impregnably magnificent existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of spellbindingly undefeated innocence; every
unfurling instant of symbiotically pristine existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of timelessly unconquerable truth; every unfurling
instant of bounteously magnanimous existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of unfathomably unfettered creativity; every
unfurling instant of timelessly burgeoning existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of royally triumphant resplendence; every
unfurling instant of unconquerably majestic existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of eternally exhilarating vivaciousness; every
unfurling instant of redolently insuperable existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of unbelievably ameliorating optimism; every
unfurling instant of marvelously benign existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of brilliantly liberated camaraderie; every
unfurling instant of iridescently inscrutable existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of unshakably virgin righteousness; every
unfurling instant of beautifully untainted existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of uninhibitedly heavenly frolic; every unfurling
instant of tantalizingly sensuous existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of compassionately humanitarian friendship; every
unfurling instant of magically mitigating existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of miraculously everlasting freshness; every
unfurling instant of invincibly coalescing existence,

A mother might bear just a single child in 9 months; but an artist blossoms
into an infinite children of pricelessly ubiquitous oneness; every unfurling

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Lonely Child

Lonely child in the night.
Under heaven's golden lights.
I heard you cry near a stream.
Where maidens sing and sleep and dream.
Lonely child have no fear, the lord will dry your heart-
sick tears.
The night is young, a blue jay flies and whispers softly
please don't cry.
The lord above is free to roam he will help you from his
throne.
The lord loves you true and dear.
He only laughs he never swears.
Lonely child please don't run, beneath the sky, moon or sun.
You parents love you yes they do.
The clouds have dimmed, but no one knew.
Lonely child a lion prowls.
This lion is special he'd dare not bite.
He only hunts game in the wild never children o' lonely child.
Lonely child go back home, cross the deserts
where buffalo roamed.
The lord will lead you safe and clear.
So don't you cry nor shed a tear.
You parents miss your loving touch.
Your loving hugs and summer blush.
They miss the way you'd smile and grin.
You think they wouldn't you're only ten?
Lonely child in the night.
Your parents searched day and night.
For a child in the wild.
Their only son you lonely child.
Lonely child don't you cry.
And don't you dare tell a lie, on the lion in the wild.
He'd never hurt you lonely child.
Your parents love you very much.
So let them feel your loving touch.
Lonely child in the night.
A little dove flew, in fright.
I know you love your parents so.
So run and tell them let them know.
Let them know how you feel.
Let them know your love is real.
Lonely child run or fly.
Soar the heavens and the skies.
Soar the rivers and the streams.
Your smile will make the moonlight, beam.

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