- Never published
- Sent to teacher Jenny Sibald’s class at the Priory School in Dorset, England in 1989
- Elsewhere on the web:
- Singing Roald Dahl: Mr. Unsworth – original song by Dr. Ian Inkster
The poem and this accompanying article were published in the Bristol Evening Post on October 20, 2003. Many thanks to Richard Reddrop for sending it to me.
New Dahl poem is discovered
Roald Dahl fans have been thrilled by the discovery of a never-before-published poem by the famous author.
The writer sent the 10-line verse to the Priory School in Dorset the year before his death in 1990.
Typical of Dahl’s horrible humour, it describes an evil teacher who twists off pupils’ ears when they forget history dates.
Dahl, who was educated in West-super-Mare, sent the poem to Year 3 pupils in June 1989 in response to letters they wrote to their literary hero.
After reading it to her class, teacher Jenny Sibbald stored it with some other papers at home and forgot all about it. But when she retrieved the poem for a recent assembly, staff at the school in Christchurch were astonished.
Though the poem was included in the Roald Dahl Centre archives, it had never appeared in print.
Head teacher Mark Loveys said: “We were absolutely amazed. To have a Roald Dahl poem that has never been on the bookshelves is wonderful and the kids loved it.”
“My teacher wasn’t half as nice as yours seems to be.
His name was Mister Unsworth and he taught us history.
And when you didn’t know a date he’d get you by the ear
And start to twist while you sat there quite paralysed with fear.
He’d twist and twist and twist your ear and twist it more and more.
Until at last the ear came off and landed on the floor.
Our class was full of one-eared boys. I’m certain there were eight.
Who’d had them twisted off because they didn’t know a date.
So let us now praise teachers who today are all so fine
And yours in particular is totally divine.”