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ARTISTS TRANSCENDING POLITICS
by alongtheserivers
 GoodPoems
Feb 28, 2017 | 1900 views | 3 3 comments | 107 107 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

HI POETRY LOVERS,

 

A SLIGHT DEPARTURE TODAY. IT IS NOT NEWS TO ANYONE THAT OUR COUNTRY IS IN UPHEAVEL, POLITICALLY.  I, FOR ONE, FIND MYSELF WISHING TO ESCAPE FROM THIS TURMOIL, AND MY USUAL ESCAPE ROUTE IS INTO THE ARTS. POETRY, PRIMARILY, IS THE VEHICLE FOR ME. BUT OF COURSE THERE ARE OTHER ARTS THAT TAKE US AWAY FROM MISERY---MUSIC, FOR ONE.

YET IN THIS FREE LAND ARTISTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR RIGHT TO EXPRESSION, SO WE SOMETIMES ENCOUNTER MORE OF THE SAME DIVISIVENESS AND ANGER IN THEIR WRITINGS AND SONGS. AND, IT MUST BE NOTED, THERE CAN BE VERY ANGRY, EVEN VICIOUS MATERIAL, CONTAINED IN THEIR WORK.

TRUE, MANY ARTISTS FEEL THIS IS THEIR DUTY, TO OPPOSE WHAT THEY SEE AS WRONG, AND PROTEST IS LEGITIMATE. THEY ARE EXERCISING A BASIC RIGHT, AND I AGREE WITH THAT PRINCIPLE. BUT UNFORTUNATELY SOMETIMES EXTREMELY BIASED AND ANGRY ATTITUDES CAN SEEP IN. THEY SEEM TO FEEL THEY SHOULD PROTEST "HATE" BUT THEY ARE OFTEN CREATING AND EXHIBITING "HATE" THEMSELVES.

BUT THANKFULLY THERE ARE ALSO SOME ARTISTS WHO SEEK TO TRANSCEND. THEY MOVE BEYOND THE POLITICAL AND FOCUS ON THE CREATIVE ASPECTS OF THEIR ART.  VIOLA DAVIS IS ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. IN MANY INTERVIEWS SHE REVEALS HER PASSION FOR HER WORK; SHE IS A PARTICULARLY TALENTED ACTRESS, DEVOTED TO HER ART.  I HAVE NOT HEARD HER SPEAK IN ANY DIVISIVE WAY ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE OR CURRENT EVENTS.

AN INTERESTING EXAMPLE OF THE ARTIST'S ROLE IN SOCIETY IS REFLECTED IN THE FOLLOWING LETTER, WRITTEN BY JAZZ GUITARIST LARRY CORYELL, TO DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE.

Coryell’s Letter to DownBeat

I need to walk back some of the statements I made to DownBeat (“Back from the Brink,” February). I am no longer angry about the election; I accept it. I have musician friends who did not vote my way. I have no place implying, as I did in the article, that their votes were insincere or illegitimate; that is a sacred choice for all Americans and it needs to be respected.

Also—and this is very important—I believe that I have a responsibility to transcend politics, focusing instead on finding ways to touch people’s hearts through music. I never want to forget all the great players who mentored me in the art of demonstrating restraint regarding hot-button issues; these men and women advised me to exercise discretion, and to behave with exemplary humanity. I need to follow that advice.

I regret that I may have offended anyone. DownBeat is, after all, a journalistic haven for art and creativity. DownBeat and the other jazz magazines assiduously focus on America’s greatest art form: jazz. We need for these publications to continue their mission of creating value through promoting and exploring jazz. My comments did nothing to further the cause of our music. I apologize.

With best regards from Berlin, Germany,

Larry Coryell

I WILL CLOSE WITH A POEM TO TAKE US BEYOND THE DIVISIVENESS AROUND US, AND TO FOCUS ON THE HOPE OF BETTER TIMES TO COME. ENJOY.

Music

 

Let me go where'er I will

I hear a sky-born music still:

It sounds from all things old,

It sounds from all things young;

From all that's fair, from all that's foul,

Peals out a cheerful song.

It is not only in the rose,

It is not only in the bird,

Not only where the rainbow glows,

Nor in the song of woman heard,

But in the darkest, meanest things

There always, always something sings.

"Tis not in the high stars alone,

Nor in the cups of budding flowers,

Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,

Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,

But in the mud and scum of things

There always, always something sings. 

 

                                 –Ralph Waldo Emerson

THANKS FOR CLICKING IN.  XO JUDY

 

 

Comments
(3)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
HAGMAN
|
March 10, 2017
WOW!!!!WOW!!!and WOW!!! U R right on the proverbial button.CHEMINviale
BEGE
|
March 07, 2017
Very appropriate poem, letter, and your comments on todays attitudes of some people.

Neilsaunt
|
March 03, 2017
Re: seem to think they should protest "hate," but often they are creating "hate" themselves, it does seem to be the case. Indeed, people often can't see themselves. Thank you for pointing this out.