Art creates the New Man

Thank you, Merril D. Smith, for suggesting than an erasure poem might fit the prompt. I found an article by Maria Popova on Brainpickings, about art being omnipresent, but not recognized or visible as such. It is about the biography of Walt Whitman by John Burroughs. She calls it more than a biography.

Here’s the link to the original article, which became my canvas to create, to carve a poem out of it.

The Great Naturalist John Burroughs on Art, the Courage to Defy Convention, and the Measure of a Visionary

Here’s the poem (I have added the word, ‘invisible’ in italics at one place, to give context)


Art is both

foreground and background

the wheel that propels

every revolution

constellation of beliefs and sensibilities

seers who imagine

the way the world changes



not an island,

but the water that washes all shores.

art – not an “enclosure,”

but the human spirit.

a powerful impression

a great artist creates taste

to call forth and bestow power,

of which knowledge is the effect;


The new man is impossible (invisible)

till he appears

we demand of the new man

authentic inspiration and power

we cannot put him down

the new man makes room for himself

the taste

by which he is appreciated

the rules of art

by which he is to be judged


Poetics at dVerse


10 thoughts on “Art creates the New Man

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