Higher Ed Poetry: Universitas (a Parody of Shelley’s “Ozymandias”)

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by Jeffrey Ross
Freelance Poet and MOOC Aficionado – with special thanks to Percy B. Shelley, real


The original thought leader, Percy Shelley
Percy Shelley, the original thought leader

I saw a student with tablet in hand
Who smiled: A burnt and shattered yard of brick
Crumbles in the heat. Nearby, cactus-bound,
Half-drunk, a lonely mascot lies, with tanned
And damaged spear and leer of foamed content
He moans the public polls were thus ignored
The Cloud yet thrives, dancing on empty sheds
On Regents who built them and taxes bled.
And on the marquee these words still scrolling:

My name is Universitas, King School
Look on my buildings, learners, and inspire!”
Naught but WiFi remains. Round Yellow Tape
Of this new grotto, broken down and spare
The pull-down MOOCs are giving it away.