Thou Art Useless, Art, Thou Art Grey

Art can never change the world,
it can never make the veil unfurl,
indeed it can make them stop and stare,
for a moments notice in sweet despair.
In that fanciful limbo someone may think,
perhaps it is art that has sought the brink
of all the anarchy that does prevail
and made it wonder to its avail,
but art only patronizes the anarchist,
and like ignorant children the artist,
may paint or write or speak his sense
but he does so for he knows nothing else,
and people they adore the poems of treason
but the truth is, life has no such reason.
The poor they live for a loaf of bread,
the faithful hang on by a breaking thread,
the thinkers write words for those they pity,
and sell those words to the ruling rich,
the painter can draw of the needy and gritty,
then auction it off to the greediest bitch.
You talk of art and some impending change?
you speak of people as if you know them all,
but when you shall know how artful range
hardly aides the weak in fall,
feel free to show the abject grim
mortal for whom art is but colorful fray,
and fanciful wordplay means naught to him
for thou art useless, art, thou art grey.

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31 thoughts on “Thou Art Useless, Art, Thou Art Grey

  1. “Wars rage on, the meek are abused, the poor die from hunger and the weak are trampled on, yet all I can do is write and make peace with the realization of the fatuity of my art, and the uselessness of my work.”

      1. Yeah that’s sad but I believe your blog will leave behind a footprint in our hearts and always remind us about the magnificent pictures you painted through your life.Your poetry is an antique that no man can afford to trade.

      2. Thank you so much, although I would prefer an argument regarding the merit of my work, I can not oblige myself today, seeing as how wonderful and optimistic a person you are. Your kind words have made my day.

        Regards,
        Osama Iftikhar

  2. Maybe it can’t change the world – but it can change people, just as it has changed me. And people can change the world. Art can offer sanctuary and recourse to those in the throes of grief or anguish or despair – it can be our fortitude, and our faith, through the greatest of hardships. It can enlighten, and empower, and inspire us to transcend the limits of our faculties, and strive for something more. It can revolutionize our hearts and souls – it can be the torch which guides us through the darkness, and offers us grace and clarity and warmth in its glow. It can paint our lives in swathes of colours and hues, and rouse us to savour the enchantment and wonder of the world, when we are engulfed in that blackness. Art is grey, and useless? No. It is the guiding force of all our lives.

    1. Be that as it may, art can only inspire people to contemplate, not to change, people are artists because it is natal, they are art lovers because it is innate. Art is a portrait of the world through the artists eyes, not through the worlds itself. Art is not grey because it is colorless, but because it is anything but. Those who do, do as they please, and those who watch, are left with art.

  3. Whew. I couldn’t disagree with you more, although I think your poem is impassioned, beautiful and compelling. Artists and authors, the really great ones, are indeed revolutionary and can influence and change minds/attitudes and motivate people to take action to alleviate despair and suffering. Their works are timeless because they deliver the goods. Art is also cathartic, a relief from despair and suffering (see Aristotle’s POETICS, 5th c. BC, Greece, a seminal work). Art can interpret, explain, afford aesthetic pleasure and so make life bearable, even joyful. Whatever, keep pursuing your passion, even in your disclaimer of Art’s power you are providing your readers with all of the above 🙂 Loved the post

  4. You are correct about the world comprehending the intent of art, poetry in particular. It amazes me how few people understand or appreciate a good poem. If it is indeed a good one, it will stir deep emotions within the soul and often wake you in the night to whisper a line or two.

  5. Though the poem is excellently written, I disagree with it. 🙂 I have found inspiration from words in the times it was hard for me to be hopeful.

  6. Thanks for following my blog. Had a first look at yours and what I’ve seen has convinced me that you are a real person and a poet!
    This poem was the first of yours to strike me. Expressed similar thought in my “Life of a poet” film – where I said “Love poems don’t work”! However, today I feel a bit defensive of art – surely it’s not completely useless? It comforts and occupies the solitary, and it’s very useful to spot “art” in others, amongst other things. The artful can be tricky, but at it’s best the making of art is a spiritual activity that can bring people closer together, as I hope it has us. Good to meet you, I’ll follow back and look forward to getting to know you and your work.

    1. First and foremost, you are welcome. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself, and its quite impressive, to say the least. And although I am grateful to you for your support and encouragement, I must point out the simple fact that, my good fellow, we shall always be artists and art lovers, but that is all we shall ever be. You say that art brings us together, and I never denied that fact, but what does our form of expression mean to the person who has nothing or has lost everything?
      What about the mendicant who has no choice but to deny himself the basic necessities of life, for the sake of not having them, but wanting them still? Art does not solve his problem, art means nothing to him!
      I am not criticizing art and artists per say, but merely alluding to our folly, when we claim we have changed the world. Art is for our dreams, and only dreams, as soon as they turn real, there is no art, and we are no artists.

  7. Wrote a lengthy response to you but it’s not showing, maybe being processed or lost. As for your argument, sir, which at least suggests that art cannot change the world, why, even Oscar Wilde could refute it! Art is not a choice; we live in a world dominated by bad art. Admittedly, I’m not the most practical person, but respect those who are.

    1. I searched for your response in the pending section of my comments, I am sorry to inform you I could not find it myself even. My good man, I can not dare to compete in an argument with Oscar Wilde, or any person who aspires to be like him. Your statement “art is not a choice” is I fear a product of a small misunderstanding of what I wrote, I meant the beggar who chooses to rescind all the “basic” necessities of life, art not being tantamount to food, shelter, and clothing.

  8. Now seeing my first comment, your reply and my reply to that, so it all makes sense. Recently argued that a sign of a bad writer is one who believes that literature is more important than reality, but there are levels to these things.

    1. I’m glad it all makes sense. As for the argument you alluded to, I would agree with the titular syllogism, the major premise of it being, with out reality and its tragedies, how can a writer be inspired to write something exceptional? and its minor premise being, there are no good or bad writers, except when gauged in the scale of the prevalent conditions and the conditional zeitgeist.

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