Works in the Herald 1934

In the welter of criticism that has greeted the second, as well as the first (or sheep's head) design for the Centenary plaque, it would seem charitable to spare a thought for the poor artist, engaged in the impossible task of living up to innumerable ideals and pleasing a myriad of varying tastes.

An artist, when working to order,
   Is ever in trouble and doubt,
For he finds himself pent by a border
   Of rules that won't let a man out.
And he shouldn't do this and he musn't do that;
   All the things that he likes are taboo;
They are either too square or too flat;
   While the things that they want he won't do.

So he gives them a scythe and a sickle,
   A shovel, shears, pick and a rake --
A scheme that some fancies may tickle,
   While other point out some mistake;
For they "hum" and they "ha" and they say, "Very nice,
   Neat design.  Yet there's something it lacks.
You've forgotten the fern-hook the mattock and vice,
   And, heavens, man!  Where is the axe?"

Since he can't fulfil every condition
   (They won't have dead sheep or lone corn),
He should seek some astute politician
   Who flourished ere artists were born.
He will learn how to save, to his ultimate joy,
   All the trouble and time he now wastes.
In vague facts half revealed lie the arts they employ,
   And success comes in tickling all tastes.

Herald, 3 August 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06