Authority, as per regulation,
will justify suppression,
will authorise translation
and standardise expression.
It will stamp approvals, make decrees,
issue fines and warnings.
But when it comes to birds and bees,
and the beauty of good mornings,
what use is there in forms to sign;
what good is that affording?
It doesn’t help the sun to shine,
nor the crowd in its applauding.
. Art made tongue-tied by authority,
. gives voice to no majority.
© Tim Grace, (WS-Sonnet 66: line 9) 27 April 2011
To the reader: To wield authority is an art-form not easily crafted into institutional practice. As institutions grow in size and status they instinctively adopt self-protective procedures that distance themselves from face-to-face exposure. The protective force-field is governance; more or less the rules of engagement. To be satisfying, our interaction with authority needs to bare some resemblance to the flow of natural order… if not creative then at least flexible; adaptive to change.
To the poet: Without structure sonnets easily wander off track. Conversely, they can’t bear too much heavy engineering. Through natural rhythms, the mechanical hardware of a sonnet is disguised as rhyme and reason. As with authority, a bureaucratic approach to poetry can over-govern its artistic bent; a tongue-tied sonnet results.