Uta’s Diary


The Uncultured Rhymer To His Cultured Critics

Fight through ignorance, want, and care —
Through the griefs that crush the spirit;
Push your way to a fortune fair,
And the smiles of the world you’ll merit.
Long, as a boy, for the chance to learn —
For the chance that Fate denies you;
Win degrees where the Life-lights burn,
And scores will teach and advise you.

My cultured friends! you have come too late
With your bypath nicely graded;
I’ve fought thus far on my track of Fate,
And I’ll follow the rest unaided.
Must I be stopped by a college gate
On the track of Life encroaching?
Be dumb to Love, and be dumb to Hate,
For the lack of a college coaching?

You grope for Truth in a language dead —
In the dust ’neath tower and steeple!
What know you of the tracks we tread?
And what know you of our people?
‘I must read this, and that, and the rest,’
And write as the cult expects me? —
I’ll read the book that may please me best,
And write as my heart directs me!

You were quick to pick on a faulty line
That I strove to put my soul in:
Your eyes were keen for a ‘dash’ of mine
In the place of a semi-colon —
And blind to the rest. And is it for such
As you I must brook restriction?
‘I was taught too little?’ I learnt too much
To care for a pedant’s diction!

Must I turn aside from my destined way
For a task your Joss would find me?
I come with strength of the living day,
And with half the world behind me;
I leave you alone in your cultured halls
To drivel and croak and cavil:
Till your voice goes further than college walls,
Keep out of the tracks we travel!

(Henry Lawson)


One Day ago Josef Carli published ‘the flaw in the glass’ in the AIMNetwork. In the comments to this blog, Joe was very much criticized for attacking the ‘educated’ middle class. The above poem by Henry Lawson was included in Carli’s blog. As far as I can tell, nobody objects to what Henry Lawson, Uncultured Rhymer , has to say about his cultured friends and critics. I do not understand, these ‘cultured’ people from the Australian middle class of our time, who presumably recognize Lawson as having something to say to them, why can they not accept that someone like Carli has something to say to them too?

10 thoughts on “Uta’s Diary

    1. Joe, is it that feelings often override common sense? I mean, feelings are very important, but sometimes it is difficult to keep them under control, isn’t it? In academia, should people not be trained to think objectively?

      1. Yesterday I lost total control over my feelings. My newly installed computer just would not work. I swore and swore, to no avail. I thought I had bought a very defective computer. On my old laptop I had always used Windows 7. I had refused to update! But since the laptop was getting really too ancient, I did buy this new computer with Windows 10 installed. Then Peter came to my rescue. He had a lot of experience with updates on his computer. So he came to the conclusion that Windows probably did some more updates on my computer, and this is why nothing worked anymore. For sure, Peter was right, and I soon could settle down. 🙂

      2. Agree, Uta…but what I feel has happened is that one has been replaced with the other…The emotions can get out of control…IF…they are not regulated by common sense…in a panic situation, one trusts that one can feel and at the same time work sensibly for a solution…like if dealing with an injured child…And when making an objective decision that will affect the lives or fortunes of many people, one would also trust that a good deal of “feeling” for those most vulnerable would take consideration….Sadly, it would seem there is now an imbalance in those essential ingredients…
        I have placed that short piece i addressed to Gerard up on Twitter ..under : “Letter to a friend” where I point out the loss of “corporate memory” in dismissing the accrued learning of the older people…

  1. What a very interesting poem, Uta, and to hear of the objections to it are also fascinating to me. I feel like people are so polarized in their thinking these days that we forget we can learn from others, even those with which we don’t readily relate. We’ve really given up deep thinking in general, I fear. But for now, I really enjoyed reading this and hearing your thoughts about it as well. It quite caught my attention!

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