The Art Snobs

Saints save us from the Art Snobs.
Their great big gobs. Those super-
cilious, bilious blobs of snoot.
Ugly to boot. You’ve seen,
You know the ones I mean:

They peer down ridged nose bridges.
They sneer down half-mast glasses.
They’ve been to college, they think they know it.
They’ve drawn the line and you must toe it.

They tell you what you must or mustn’t rate
and have and haven’t read. They prate
away and say ‘It’s all a swizz!
It isn’t art if it don’t look like what it is!’
It can’t be art if you have to see it twice
(Though Monet’s allowed in, okay, he’s quite nice.)
And every modern monument must be
'A carbuncle' and 'a mad monstrosity'.
And music isn’t if it’s not melody, just Art
Garfunkel, Sinatra, Mozart and that TV
ad for the airline. All the rest
don’t count if they don’t pass the Whistle Test.

And other boring tests, and boring laws.
They’ve decreed a boring canon even more
strict than any canon gone before.

(Fear not, they’ve not forgotten
to exclude the trashy bottom.
Tabloid pop and mags and chav hip hop.
They’ve just lopped off the top.
Or anything that requires a stretch;
The certainty of the certifiably unsure

So saints save us from the Art Snobs.
Their great big gobs. Those super-
cilious, bilious blobs of snoot. Back to
the Age of Hooper we ought to boot
the haughty brutes. The wilful stupor
of an Age which scuttled out the old snobs –
the Cambridge Queers and Oxford Nobs –
and God we almost miss 'em,
now our Gods are King and Grisham.

But still. Every action has a reaction.
Antithesis, synthesis, repulsion, attraction.
A critical mass of half-mast glasses, Kipling verses.
The critics and the masses. The common classes versus
the literati class. My arse! Keep your Common Man,
I’ve not yet met him.

I used to think the first snobs were a curse.
The Reverse are worse.

And to the po-faced, red-faced bar-room wit,
Who rules a poem must rhyme, I say:

September 06

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