ISC Reverie “We are the Music Makers”: the Role of Artists in stirring up the Emotions


We are the Music Makers :the role of artists 

Question  : How does the poem”We are the Music Makers ” express the role of artists in stirring up emotions and shaping public opinion.

Answer: The poem  “We are the Music Makers” by O’ Shaughnessy, celebrates the artists and their timeless creations. The poet speaks through the collective voice”we” of all the musicians, poets, painters, creative writers – and  express their role in stirring up emotions and shaping public opinion.

     In the poem, O’ Shaughnessy has depicted the artists as an integral part of the society, rejecting the idea of art for art’s sake which emphasised on – only aesthetic importance of art and believes that it doesn’t need to serve any social, political and didactic purpose. In fact, the first eight lines of the poem define what artists are and seemingly try to depict the artists’ aestheticist separation  from society.

      The poet says –
 “Wandering by lone sea – breakers
  And sitting by desolate streams”
 The artists wander alone by the sea – breakers, they sit by the side of isolated streams and they remain aloof from the society. In this sense the world labels them as “World – losers and world forsakers” means – world consider them as escapists. But this aloofness is,necessary for the creation of ‘art’. They look at the world, both for its beauty and strife.

    This aloofness provides them with the objectivity that is necessary for creation i.e. imagination and fantasy.

   The poet further says –
“With wonderful deathless ditties
 We build up the world’s great cities”
A poet or a musician can “build up the world’s great cities” in their wonderful everlasting songs. The actual cities which provide the subject for these songs have been ruined long ago but their glory and fame is still alive in these timeless  songs created by music makers.

      Similarly, the writers through their stories about ancient kings and their kingdoms give shape to their empire and their glory –
“We fashion an empires’ glory”
The  impact a work of art creates is everlasting. It is not momentary, it does not fade with time. Art is immortal, the lasting effect of art outlives civilisations.

    The artists shape public opinion and guide society to a better future. The artists keep away from any physical action but address burning issues through their art. They move and shake  and stir the world by bringing radical changes in the society. Their artistic creations rouse up emotions that help them to take necessary steps.

     He further adds –
“One man with a dream, at pleasure, 
 Shall go forth and conquer a crown”
The poem reflects the subversive nature of art in these lines. Here the poet says –  a man with a dream and adequate opportunity (pleasure)  at hand can give that dream a concrete structure. He is the one who shall go ahead and conquer a crown. Here the word “crown ” refers to an extra – ordinary achievement.

“And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.”
   The poet says if more (three)  people come together on any such new idea (new songs’ measure) , they can trample an empire down.
This is how high is the potential of an artist’s creation.

   The artists can bring more change in people’s mind than anyone else. Thus a songwriter or a poet can give a man the freedom to bring about a revolution.

   This way the artists are capable of stirring up emotions and shaping public opinion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top