Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Matter of Balance.

I was just listening to a musical setting of Yeats’s poem The Wild Swans at Coole, and I wondered – as I have done often – why we laud the poets so. Why do we invite them to high tables? Why do we celebrate them, revere them, remember them to eternity, or at least until their print run expires?

The poet is an expert with words and feeds our perception. That’s good. But the bricklayer is equally an expert with tools, and builds walls to protect our bodies from the elements. Why make a demi-god of one and a mere artisan of the other?

Conversely, I’ve known people who have revered the bricklayer and denigrated the poet as a mere fop of negligible value. Is this all about snobbery in both its forms, and should we tolerate either?

No comments: