Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

Not What Was Meant - Poem by Bertolt Brecht

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.

Comments about Not What Was Meant by Bertolt Brecht

  • Silver Star - 3,282 Points Dutendra Chamling (11/6/2015 1:26:00 AM)

    ...Who is also a lover of the art of war...

    Marvellous poem! (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: freedom, howl, kiss, war, peace

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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