Cringeworthy "socially-conscious"/activist-style poetry in Australia


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W. H. Auden


Cringeworthy indeed. By what definition do we call this poetry, other than that it is not prose? It is a vomit of half-digested words, ugly but offering little insight.

Art, at times of crisis, can be difficult to justify

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that art in times if of crisis can be hard to do well.

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This statement, the liturgy of the woke:

“I’ve been asked about the emotional toll of making art which responds to such visceral events, with such immediacy. There is always an exhaustion which comes from sitting with trauma, or loss, or hopelessness. A heaviness.”

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It’s narcissism more than anything else. “I have suffered, I’m writing about suffering, ergo I am artistic.”

And that she compares what she does with slave spirituals and the underground railroad takes the proverbial cake.


Definitely. Perfectly put.