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Not What Was Meant Analysis

Author: poem of Bertolt Brecht Type: poem Views: 1

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When the Academy of Arts demanded freedom

Of artistic expression from narrow-minded bureaucrats

There was a howl and a clamour in its immediate vicinity

But roaring above everything

Came a deafening thunder of applause

From beyond the Sector boundary.

Freedom! it roared. Freedom for the artists!

Freedom all round! Freedom for all!

Freedom for the exploiters! Freedom for the warmongers!

Freedom for the Ruhr cartels! Freedom for Hitler's generals!

Softly, my dear fellows...

The Judas kiss for the artists follows

Hard on the Judas kiss for the workers.

The arsonist with his bottle of petrol

Sneaks up grinning to

The Academy of Arts.

But it was not to embrace him, just

To knock the bottle out of his dirty hand that

We asked for elbow room.

Even the narrowest minds

In which peace is harboured

Are more welcome to the arts than the art lover

Who is also a lover of the art of war.


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