• Mr Humphries

Mr Isolation’s Humphries Diaries - Week 7


I have started listening to Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast. It is lovely. He speaks passionately, thoughtfully and personally about a variety of poems, without ever having to worry about tailoring any of it towards pesky and frivolous examinations that you might not end up ever having to take!

During episode two on ‘the Beat poets’, he talks about their disregard for ‘the fear of the blank page’. Frank brings this to life in recalling an anecdote about some art classes he himself took in years gone by. He had to purchase paper at a whopping 20p a sheet. Moments later, his teacher forced everyone to screw up and trample their first pristine page until it became unusable. He says it was designed to instill complete and utter fearlessness of the blank page. Naturally, I applied this thinking to writing given that I am “the greatest literary talent the world has seen since Dan Brown” (Time Magazine, April 2020). I think I’ll be getting all my classes to spoil paper in the first lesson back.

Until then, I want you to embrace this fearlessness and write, anything!

So, this week I writed a poem about it as this week’s isolation diary. It’s about how clever all teachers are and how they know all the important stuff in the world and are right about everything all the time without fail full stop

Stuff I know as a teacher by Mr Humphries, written in a queue for Sainsbury’s

Teachers know everything

No kids could know all this stuff...



Nick Knowles and his wife Beyoncé

Noel Edmonds

No Country For Old Men

No Fear Shakespeare

Nobel gases

Noble prizes

No way Jose

No win no fee

I know...

No entry

No exit

No deal Brexit

No problem in Spanish

No comprende

No man is an island

Nobody does it better

Notorious B.I.G

No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there's no limit!

No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there's no limit!

Kolo, Kolo Kolo, Kolo Kolo, Kolo Kolo Toure,

Yaya, Yaya Yaya, Yaya Yaya, Yaya Yaya Toure...

Noé Pamarot

Nolberto Solano

“No, you cannot eat a Solero in my classroom!”

No heavy petting


Gnomeo and Juliet

Who knows what I’m on about?

No one cares what I write but

Have no fear of the blank page...

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