An earlier version of this poem, about the joy and pain of creativity, how much the lack of support for one’s artistic endeavours of whatever kind can hurt, and the monetary vs intrinsic value of art, previously appeared at a personal journal as part of the importance of audience series.
THE ARTIST: What it is to live with the muse
She sculpts, removing the extraneous stone
Revealing the beauty within
It is her greatest passion to find and display every
Curve and line
She meets him at a gallery next to a coffee shop
He’s admiring Van Gough prints
She loves them too
They talk for a while, agree to meet next week
Shes says she’s a sculptor, he wants to see her work
She’s shy at first, reluctant to display her imperfect creations
But she opens the door to her studio
To her soul
Continue reading THE ARTIST: WHAT IT IS TO LIVE WITH THE MUSE
The Unwatched Play
Frank lounges in his seat
Disappointed with himself
“No auditions?” Joe asks
“No. Not even for an ad this week.”
Joe shakes his head, saddened
But he tries to be encouraging
“You’re still an actor.”
“Yes,” Frank agrees
Because that’s true.
He is still an actor
Regardless of his work
“And you’re good.”
“And you’ve memorised all of Hamlet’s lines.”
“So what does it matter
If no-one ever sees you perform?
You can recite the whole soliloquy
In the privacy of your own lounge.
Give a moving performance.
That should be enough, right?”
“Right,” Frank agrees
With false brightness
“Like, getting a part in a play
Should be enough, if the show is great
Even if no-one attends.”
“That’s bollocks, isn’t it?”
Because what’s the point
Of a performance
That goes unseen?
Or a record that never
The importance of audience is a theme I have explored before and will continue to revisit. This particular poem was previously published at a personal journal. The crux of the poem is something writers are told frequently: “You should write for yourself, and it doesn’t matter if no-one reads“; if that’s true, then the same ought to apply to all the creative arts.