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The Wells Academy

Year 7 poem

Before starting at The Wells Academy all year 7 students are given a poem to learn. The poem is assigned to their year group and symbolises their journey through the academy. All students will learn the poem, its understanding and meaning. 

           Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The poem which has been selected for current year 7 students is 'An Obstacle' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The poem is about the struggle for women to gain equality with men and highlights how very difficult obstacles were overcome in the face of hostility and numerous challenges. At the time this view which was not commonly held by many and women were not afforded many rights which were accessible to wealthy men.

The poem reminds our students how important it is to continue to work hard and strive for greatness even when facing the many challenges that life presents to us, or when other people do not think you should be allowed to achieve your goals.

Please support your child in learning their poem by regularly reading the words aloud with you child. Please see a copy of the poem below or alternatively please click this link to access a copy which can be printed.

An Obstacle 

An Obstacle I was climbing up a mountain-path
With many things to do,
Important business of my own,
And other people's too,
When I ran against an obstacle
That quite cut off the view.

My work was such as could not wait,
My path quite clearly showed,
My strength and time were limited,
I carried quite a load;
And there that growing obstacle
Sat all across the road.

So I spoke to it politely,
For it was huge and high,
And begged that it would move a bit
And let me travel by.
It smiled, but as for moving! --
It didn't even try.

So I sat before it helpless,
In an ecstasy of woe --
The mountain mists were rising fast,
The sun was sinking slow --
When a sudden inspiration came,
As sudden winds do blow.

I took my hat, I took my stick,
My load I settled fair,
I approached that awful obstacle
With an absent-minded air --
And I walked directly through it,
As if it wasn't there!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman