The third stanza of the poem A Teacher for All Seasons by Joanna Fuchs is :

A teacher is like Fall,

With methods crisp and clear

Lessons of bright colors

And a happy atmosphere.

I can't properly understand the phrase crisp and clear. Is it an idiom?

Is it for crispy leaves that fall from trees and the weather that is clear?. (my guess)

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    "Crisp and clear" here means that a teacher's methods of teaching are of high clarity and detailed version. I don't think it is a recognized idiom. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 6:07
  • I’m voting to close this question because it concerns literary / poetic interpretation Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 18:06
  • 1
    @Dhanishtha Ghosh: My first thought was crisp and clear was nowhere near as idiomatic as clear and sharp, so I headed to Google Grams in search of support for my intuition. I was quite surprised to find that crisp and clear (which barely ever occurred in print a couple of centuries ago) has been steadily gaining traction, and is now at least as common as clear and sharp. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


Bear in mind that this is from a poem where the writer can stretch the usual rules of English. So the teacher is being likened to fall (autumn in my dialect) and has to have bright coloured lessons and maintain a happy atmosphere. The bright colours of autumn are associated with changes in leaf colour and those leaves when dry are crisp. In the writer's view autumn also has a clear atmosphere although my experience is of mists and fogs so that is where the clear comes from. Note also that in order to keep the rhyme a word rhyming with atmosphere had to chosen here.

So your analysis is one I would agree with too.

  • I liked your answer
    – user100323
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 15:05

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