Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

On the Critical Attitude


The critical attitude
Strikes many people as unfruitful
That is because they find the state
Impervious to their criticism
But what in this case is an unfruitful attitude
Is merely a feeble attitude. Give criticism arms
And states can be demolished by it.

Canalising a river
Grafting a fruit tree
Educating a person
Transforming a state
These are instances of fruitful criticism
And at the same time instances of art.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (On the Critical Attitude by Bertolt Brecht )

  • Rookie Andrew Hoellering (12/2/2009 7:13:00 PM)

    The 'critical attitude' can be seen as unfruitful when it is destructive rather than constructive.One has to have something positive to put in place of what is torn down; e.g. freedom instead of the Berlin wall.
    Criticism needs arms, that is, ways of implementation of the kind that Brecht details in his second stanza. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Andrew Hoellering (12/2/2009 7:08:00 PM)

    The 'critical attitude' can be seen as unfruitful when it is destructive rather than constructive.One has to be prepared to build anew as well as to tear down.
    Criticism needs arms, that is, ways of implementation of the kind that Brecht details in his second stanza. (Report) Reply

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