On The Critical Attitude

Poem By Bertolt Brecht

The critical attitude
Strikes many people as unfruitful
That is because they find the state
Impervious to their criticism
But what in this case is an unfruitful attitude
Is merely a feeble attitude. Give criticism arms
And states can be demolished by it.

Canalising a river
Grafting a fruit tree
Educating a person
Transforming a state
These are instances of fruitful criticism
And at the same time instances of art.

Comments about On The Critical Attitude

Brecht seems to be favoring the culture of criticism specifically. Criticism in his view loses its power when it is not tied to human psychology and the capacity for pleasure.
The 'critical attitude' can be seen as unfruitful when it is destructive rather than constructive.One has to have something positive to put in place of what is torn down; e.g. freedom instead of the Berlin wall. Criticism needs arms, that is, ways of implementation of the kind that Brecht details in his second stanza.
The 'critical attitude' can be seen as unfruitful when it is destructive rather than constructive.One has to be prepared to build anew as well as to tear down. Criticism needs arms, that is, ways of implementation of the kind that Brecht details in his second stanza.


3,7 out of 5
20 total ratings

Other poems of BRECHT

From A German War Primer

AMONGST THE HIGHLY PLACED
It is considered low to talk about food.
The fact is: they have
Already eaten.

Questions From A Worker Who Reads

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished

Alabama Song

Show me the way to the next whisky bar
Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why
Show me the way to the next whisky bar
Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why

How Fortunate The Man With None

From the play 'Mother Courage'

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,

Contemplating Hell

Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London. I,
Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles,