Not What Was Meant

Bertolt Brecht

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When the Academy of Arts demanded freedom
Of artistic expression from narrow-minded bureaucrats
There was a howl and a clamour in its immediate vicinity
But roaring above everything
Came a deafening thunder of applause
From beyond the Sector boundary.
Freedom! it roared. Freedom for the artists!
Freedom all round! Freedom for all!
Freedom for the exploiters! Freedom for the warmongers!
Freedom for the Ruhr cartels! Freedom for Hitler's generals!
Softly, my dear fellows...
The Judas kiss for the artists follows
Hard on the Judas kiss for the workers.
The arsonist with his bottle of petrol
Sneaks up grinning to
The Academy of Arts.
But it was not to embrace him, just
To knock the bottle out of his dirty hand that
We asked for elbow room.
Even the narrowest minds
In which peace is harboured
Are more welcome to the arts than the art lover

Who is also a lover of the art of war.

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  • MzLyly9090

    Wow, Brecht surely knew how to stir things up with his poems, didn't he? 🤔 It's fascinating how he equates artistic freedom with freedom for war mongers and exploiters. Do ya think he's criticising the system or just being sarcastic here? And that part with the arsonist and his petrol bottle, was Brecht implying artists are capable of destruction too? 🤷‍♂️ Poetry can be so dense, can't it? 😅✌️