M. T. Kettle
I had a friend called M. T. Kettle
and he was one of those boys
who thought they were very,very clever
and always made a lot of noise.
Alas, he had an empty head
but the teachers set him right.
They drilled a hole in his empty head
and filled it with homework every night.
Each day in class when they tested him
hot tears fell from his eye.
It was such a shame
when they called out his name
to watch that young boy cry.
In our school, education
was like filling M. T.’s head.
The masters took notebooks filled with ideas
from white males (mainly dead),
and told us stories of their own past glories,
We would have liked fresh thoughts instead.
We sat in a classroom, row upon row,
our pencils in our hands,
and took dictation about every nation
that had passed through colonial hands.
“Now knowledge, boys, is in your notes,”
that’s what one master said.
“I read them out, you write them down,
they never pass through anyone’s head.”