Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

Fake, Fake, Fake after Tennyson Break, Break, Break

Fake, fake, fake
on the canvas tau[gh]t I see,
while the auction records tumble,
uncounterfeited glee!

O well for the promise of youth,
unblighted till Time’s touch light,
O well for the torch of truth
in envy dressed, and spite.

Sales’ records all can gauge
as the auction costs a mint,
but O for the varnish set with age
and a vanished hand’s imprint!

O well for the experts who
can Keating tell from Blake,
O well for the middleman too,
who cheating turn would take.

The charades continue
lest vested interests shake
the whole accursèd crew
of artist, agent, rake.

Yet rake is what most do
while going’s good, still stake
until false fad's played through
to tune of 'fake' all take!

O well for the auctioneers
who fat commissions make,
O well for the critics’ sneers:
Art for percentage sake!

O well for clients’ fears,
for it is easy as cake
to puff rough stuff which rears
its head next year as fake!

O well for the carbon date
chipped off in tiny flake,
O well for the cancelled fete
which follows on mistake!

Fake, fake, fake,
rags into riches make,
more seems today at stake
than just Art for Art’s sake!

Submitted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(12 November 1991)

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