She is the subject of her Art,
Her history is dark and drear,
Her brutalistic installations chart
Her violent upbringing; year by year
They recapitulate events severe;
At every autobiographic stage
They wring a sympathetic tear;
She is The Flower of the Modern Age.

In exhibitions she will play her part,
Photographers cannot get near;
Her honesty will make you start,
And though reporters lap it up with leers,
Her solipsism makes you feel a little queer;
It makes you wish she’d turn the page;
She tells you more than you would wish to hear –
The Flower of the Modern Age.

Get too close, she’ll be the first to dart
Amid the debris – sorry, her artistic gear;
It’s chiefly made of plastic and would fall apart
If anyone should get too near; and anyway to peer
Into such trash would make your eyesight blear;
Art critics are as lively as a squirrel in a cage;
But I for one would rather have a beer
Than cultivate The Flower of the Modern Age.


Prince, nothing could be closer to your heart
Than modern trends, and you are an artistic sage:
But your portfolio’s increasing on the Futures Mart,
And you appreciate The Flower of the Modern Age.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts, and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.

Editor’s Note: The featured image is “Narcissus” (c. 1596) by Caravaggio (1571-1610), courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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