Twa Corbies by Arthur Rackham
One cackles to the other:
Here lies the unrecognized artist
her work all to naught, betrayed
by a fence she once tried to cross.
Stones erected by cruelty
are stronger than will (as shame
is stronger than justice or revenge)
and gravity is but the obstacle of others’
self-interest and desires unfulfilled.
Rarely is it what you know, but who
you know; this poor artist knew
few but crossed the path of those
of ambition, hypocrisy, vanity—
and so she lies fallen, her efforts
The other thinks:
I don’t much like what this crow
has to say.Yes, death is
death, its equalitarian
decree comes to us all. But our
accomplishments may live on
like evolution and natural selection
may take all sorts of directions
and for what matters in a dead name
Darwin or Wallace or other unnamed.
The artist is best who works
not for recognition but for creation.