The students bring their favourite balloons 

So I take out the intellectual darts

“They think they’re here for fun but soon

They will learn how theory breaks all hearts”

The first balloon I burst is “hope”

I have for that a dystopian dart

It shoots with a loud terrifying note

And the hope balloon it blows apart

Next up is the “innocence” balloon

For that the Freudian dart is best

It need not be shot but only shown

And the student herself will do the rest.

Then is the turn of the “culture” balloon

Big, bloated, boastful, a bully to be shot

For that a whole clip in my dart gun

Of postcolonial darts I have got.

Thus freed up from false hopes and dreams

The students are ready to face the reality 

Inside my class no balloons are seen

For blowing balloons is my speciality

Better to be depressed than to be oppressed 

Better to be awake than to be asleep

Freedom is scary but still to be possessed

Balloons are nice but darts we need.

Throw away balloons, and buy some darts

The world isn’t a playground but a battle field

I tell my students to harden their hearts

‘Literature is sweet’ is by theory repealed.

Photography by: by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash