Tag: barker

Highlighted Sections II

(The following is a ‘found poem’ using the highlighted bits from a secondhand copy of Howard Barker’s Arguments for a Theatre.)

Literally and metaphorically
There is now no darkness
In the world.

The open society is
White and bright. It
Abhors the shadows. It
Violates the penumbra of privacy
In the name of access. It
Trespasses in the most secret chambers
Of grief and makes advertisements
Of pain.

Absolute light. Light
As a system. Light
As a regime.

The urge to participate in
‘light-throwing’ is something
To which few artists are immune, Indeed
It is a time-honoured instinct
Among dramatists with a pedigree
Reaching far beyond the great
Illuminators, Brecht and Shaw.

Let us talk to tragedy, for
It is the greatest of all art forms
And the most beautiful, And
For these reasons alone almost abolished
By the Illumination System, hating beauty
As it must and afraid of the dark
As an aged bachelor shudders at
The shadow on his door.

Populist democracy can tolerate
Very little of the active self, For
Self is no respecter of rights, and
Tragedy is the supreme moment of self
And the worst enemy of rights, it
Tramples rights, it is
After all is said and done, the
Illegal for of things.

Tragedy is not humanist
And intends no good to man.

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Highlighted Sections I

(The following is a ‘found poem’ using the highlighted bits from a secondhand copy of Howard Barker’s Arguments for a Theatre.)

We are living
The extinction
Of official socialism.
When the opposition loses
Its politics, it must
Root in art.

In a bad time
Laughter is a rattle
Of fear.

Ideology is the outcome
Of pain.

When a child fell under a bus
They called it tragedy.
On the contrary, It
Was an accident.
We have had a drama of accidents 
Masquerading as tragedy.

It is never too late to
Forestall the death of Europe.