In defense of the arts… in schools

These are dark days for artists and the arts. By “artists” and “the arts” I do not mean the avant-garde stereotype of indulgent silliness. Someone overturning a silverware drawer into the opening of a piano and calling it “music.” A few haphazard strings of glass and feather collected on a coathanger presented as “sculpture.”

No, I’m talking about some of the highest forms of human expression. Music. Painting. Sculpture. Literature. Dance. Theatre. The most elevated means of creativity known to mankind. Slowly and almost certainly being pushed further and further back from the forefront of our collective thought.

What is the cause of this? What has prompted this retreat from the more sublime manifestations of our culture? Don’t we understand what such a withdrawal means — if not to our civilization as a whole but to our very souls? Indeed, without art, the crudeness of reality makes the world unbearable.

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Three Sonnets

I always wanted to be a poet… not for the fame or riches mind you (as if poetry has ever been an art form to inspire either) but because I can hardly think of a better occupation to be compensated for. For me, it’s akin to being paid for sleeping or eating, reading or writing.

Well… I guess technically I am being paid to write now, but there’s a host of peripheral responsibilities that accompany what few hours of the day I am able to devote solely to the craft of writing.

Still, the idea of writing poetry has always appealed to my soul. Granted, I’ve never been any good at it, but I’ve always passionately loved reading and writing poetry. Sometimes (on all-too-rare occasions) I’m able to unearth a clever phrase or little turn of words, though usually it just comes across as flowery and rather amateurish poetic prosing.

Last night I was sprawled out on my bed clicking and swirling my fingers over my smartphone, while my youngest son slept curled up against me. I wasn’t able to get up, for fear of waking him. Xander wasn’t feeling good and had fought against sleep for a few hours. When he finally surrendered I wasn’t going to do anything that might wake him, so I was stuck.

My thoughts wandered and a few phrases came to mind… fifteen minutes later these sonnets came burbling out almost fully formed. I was pleased with the results, so I want to post them here.

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