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‘Picasso’s not all he’s cracked up to be.’

He’d had a few by then, but understood

The dangers of hype and adulation

Of the spineless, unconditional kind.

We were on the last train from Fenchurch Street;

Among the massed drunks now quiet or depressed,

The air was thick with smoke and rancid ale.

At first, when he leant over to my side,

I groaned, half-expecting some hard-luck yarn.

But this was an artist; gone bad, for sure,

Through years of commuting and City grind,

But deep down the urge remained – to question,

To create, to bring passion to a void.

At Purfleet, he jumped off. The flame still burned.


◄ Monarchs

Retreat ►


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Stephen Gospage

Wed 10th May 2023 09:15

Thank you, John and Uilleam, and my thanks to everyone who liked this poem.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Mon 8th May 2023 23:08

Thank you Stephen.

The more I see of Picasso's Guernica, and have it's art explained to me, the more I understand the importance and the power of the arts, and hopefully, of our ability to use the arts to help understand conflict, and so to prevent the horror of war.

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John Botterill

Mon 8th May 2023 21:00

Love it, Stephen. You tell a great story. I was right there with you!

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 8th May 2023 07:46

Thank you, Uilleam. Strange how the meaning of poems evolves, depending on the day!

And thanks to Nigel, Adam, Clare, KJ, K Lynn and Manish for liking.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sun 7th May 2023 09:07

Thank youStephen.

"...hype and adulation
Of the spineless, unconditional kind."

An apt description of a certain recent event.😏

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Stephen Gospage

Sat 6th May 2023 16:50

Thank you, Greg. It reminds me of the Jasper Carrot story about his friend slagging off Man Utd during a match at Old Trafford (ok, perhaps that was a bit riskier...)
Manish - Yes, even a broken artist has something to offer, even if it's only an opinion.
Many thanks for the kind comment, Tim. I'll keep trying.

And my thanks to Leon and Reggie's Ghost

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Tim Ellis

Sat 6th May 2023 14:28

Nice poem Stephen. You’ve done what you say - question, create, bring passion.

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Manish Singh Rajput

Sat 6th May 2023 12:22

An interesting poem from an observant eye. Speaks of a broken artist trying to make an impact through his creative passion.
Thank you for this.

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Greg Freeman

Sat 6th May 2023 11:13

My wife feels the same about Picasso, Steve, and will often voice this opinion in embarrassing places, such as the Picasso museum in Malaga ...

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