“I think what art can do is to tune you up. I mean, if you think of an out-of-tune violin, and tuning it up so that it’s in tune, I think that’s what art is, and that’s what art does.
“And good art, good poems, is making people more human, making them more intelligent, making them more sensitive and emotionally pure than they might otherwise be.
“. … the English critic Cyril Connolly … compared the arts to a little gland in the body, like the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the spine. And it seems very small and unimportant, but when it’s removed, the body dies.”Poet Michael Longley, “The Vitality of Ordinary Things“, interview by Krista Tippett, Being, 3 November 2016
If art weren’t a core part of being human, why have we done it for millennia?
If poetry weren’t a core part of being human, why have we done it for millennia?
Click through to the interview this quote is from and scroll down to the part about his poem “The Ice-Cream Man” and the letter the poet received from the mother of the murdered ice cream man.
Art and literature are powerful. Politicians restricting what may be in libraries and galleries know this. Politicians withdrawing funding for the arts know this. It’s not about a lack of money. It’s never about protecting you. It’s about stopping you thinking and questioning.