With all due apologies to Wallace Stevens who never did me any harm.
A man sat down at his upright grand
among critics preferring their music canned,
and the critics cried, It honks, it swings! -
apart from which, consider your strings:
they're standing up; they should be laid down.
It isn't a grand; it's too down town!
It's Pop Art, man, in a musical sense
said the man at the grand - it never was dense!
I've fashioned no theory for its defense,
it makes no demands like your serious art,
but it comes from the depths of an ernest heart
that has felt the pangs of Cupid's dart.
Then he started to rap and was seen to swoon
like a lover alone with a pallid moon,
and the notes he plinked and plonked along,
not caring a jot were they right or wrong,
for the rhythms he said, of his simple tune,
he had learned in the school of his mother's womb.
So feel the rhythms I bang from the keys,
he cried to them all, as he rocked from the knees.
I'm the man who can lift an ice-cold crowd -
can do it soft, but prefer it loud.
Why should you worry about my strings
when the world is so full of worrisome things?
They asked him then, and they asked to his face,
What in your music enhances the race?
There's rhythm for sure, but the question is tough:
Is it art, my friend? Is rhythm enough?
Is it more than a boy could bash from a drum?
Will it help man to soar or keep him dumb?
The response was swift, but it didn't convince -
and the argument's rolled on ever since:
the artist, my friends, is of yesterday,
the art's not in the sounds that I play,
but in ears that turn base sounds to gold
and clothe the spirit in gowns of old.
Written to the prompt by Poemsofhateandhope at dVerse ~ Poets Pub Poetics: "Our Music"
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