I give the floor entirely to WH Auden, “The Poet and the City” (The hand of the dyer, tr. Mirko Lauer and Abelardo Oquendo, Barral, 1974). They are the final paragraphs of that essay.
“Every era is one-dimensional in its political and social concerns, and in seeking the realization of the value that it values most, it neglects and comes to sacrifice other values. The relationship of a poet, or any artist, with society and politics is … more difficult than before, because even though he cannot help but recognize the importance of everybody get enough food and free time, this problem has nothing to do with art, whose concern is for individual persons (…)
“In our time the mere making of a work of art is in itself a political act. As long as there are artists doing what they want and think they should do, even if this is not terribly good, even if it attracts only a handful of people, they will remind management of something that managers need to remember: that managers are people with skills. faces, not anonymous figures; that he Homo Laborans is also the Homo Ludens.
“If a poet and an illiterate peasant meet, they may not have much to say to each other, but if they both meet a public official, they will share the same sense of suspicion; Neither of you will trust the official beyond your ability to lift a single grand piano. If they both enter a public office, they share a feeling of apprehension; They may never come out again. Despite all their cultural differences, both intuit in the official world that unreality that appears when people are treated as statistics. The peasant can give his night to the card game, while the poet will give it to his verses, but they both share a political principle: among the half-dozen or so things a man must be prepared to die for, the right to play, to frivolity, is not the least important ”.
Luis Miguel Aguilar