In All Great Arts | Sunday Observer

In All Great Arts

19 December, 2021

Whilst reading Louise Gluck
Who writes,
“Desire, loneliness, wind in the flowering almond—
surely these are the great, the inexhaustible subjects
to which my predecessors apprenticed themselves.
I hear them echo in my own heart, disguised as convention.”
I hold my breath, taken aback
Oh my God! Such pedestrian words, so plainspoken
So commonplace how could they ever have
Fit into such a great poem.
Every time I hear it, I marvel at Bryan Adam’s famous line
“Everything I do, I do it for you”
I can hardly imagine a simpler line
So simple that even a fifth-grader could
Have written it.
My endless wonderment extends itself
To many an artist- writers, poets, dramatists,
Photographers, painters, dancers, sculptors
Lyricists and goldsmiths among others
How do these people, a clear minority by all accounts,
Largely manage to capture
The fleeting wisdom that elude millions.
How do on God’s green earth
A few brushstrokes - lines, colours and shades - make a masterpiece
A few fluid movements a mesmerising dance
Where the dancer cannot be told from the dance?
Every great art transforms.
It renders the ordinary the extraordinary
Transmutes the ubiquitous into the rare
Makes the uncommon out of the commonplace
And turns the non-descript into the remarkable.
In all great arts, we don’t see
We recognise.