Antonin Artaud

The play’s the only thing, upon this stage —
the one true line from which all tangents spring;
and if the actors move from joy to rage
in but a moment’s span, or seem to bring

a touch of madness to their roles, perhaps
reel in some strange delirium’s delight,
remember once the curtain’s drawn, these chaps
must face their critic’s mirror every night.

The lines that flow so freely from their lips
leave only bitter ashes on the tongue,
and in love’s arsenal, faded applause
serves as a scourge, and accolades as whips.
No wonder they seem mad and quite unstrung,
and break along their human seams and flaws.

09 DEC 2004

There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him. — Antonin Artaud (1895-1948)

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