Retrospective Diagnosis (protest song)

I ask as I read

Your diagnoses of the dead

Of the madness of artists

And the ravings of poets –

Do you consider what’s said?

Do you think ANY poet sane?

How can you understand such a brain

When you treat metaphor with disdain?

 

I ask as I read

When you speak of Van Gogh

Diagnoses are made

And his brilliance fades –

Viewed as a freak

Diseased imagination

That glorified sunflowers

And saw beauty in the mundane

 

I ask as I read

The criteria you make

To call artists mad

Synonymous with bad

Prejudiced rules

Constructed by fools

With stupid textbooks

Created by crooks

With hidden agendas

Arrogant and friendless

 

Do you consider any poet “chemically balanced”?

Do you consider any artist “appropriately behaved”?

Or are poetry and art the very diseases

That you would rid the human race of?

The human race, tired of running

Round in circles

Driven ever faster, the human race

Sick of competing and climbing the ladder

Deeper into the sewer Of greedy profiteering

Relentless careering

Artists exploited, poets tortured

The victims cry out, but fear to be clear

They speak in metaphor

To hide their horror

They have seen the world as poets

As sensitive people

Not “schizophrenics”.

 

(words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam Arya Chakravarti, 1999)

Guitars, bass and vocals by Romesh)

 

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