Successful applicant

Today for dverse poets I’ve become involved in some time traveling espionage, and here, in 1907, you find me rehearsing my cover, as an admissions tutor for Vienna’s School of Fine Arts:

“Welcome to the Academy of Fine Arts,
your application has now been accepted,
we are expecting you to make a fine start”.

With a tentative smile, I rehearse my part,
we can’t have Adolf walk away dejected –
“Welcome to the Academy of Fine Arts.”

Try to keep him joyful, ensure a good heart,
make sure that he never once feels rejected:
“We are expecting you to make a fine start.”

Keep him occupied, with no chance to depart,
avoid syphilis, he can’t get infected –
“Welcome to the Academy of Fine Arts”.

His love of architecture as well as art
found me with a new idea impregnated:
“We are expecting you to make a fine start”.

Let’s hope the historical timeline departs
that the holocaust is totally thwarted.
“Welcome to the Academy of Fine Arts,
we are expecting you to make a fine start!”

Note: Adolf Hitler was rejected from Vienna’s School of Fine Arts in both 1907 and 1908. It was suggested that he try architecture instead, but he didn’t have the academic qualifications. Listen on soundcloud


29 thoughts on “Successful applicant

  1. oh heck..i didn’t know this… imagine how his life may have been totally different if they had accepted him…love the time travel idea as well… just watching looper…

    • It was around this time he found himself homeless. Maybe he’d have been a little less obsessed with lebensraum, if he’d had a break sooner…or maybe not..worth a try though.

  2. oh wow…the thought that all those lives could be changed if you went back and accepted him…allowing him into the arts…and perhaps turning his heart in a very different direction…well that is just mind blowing rather…i like as well you chose a positive way to affect history…that says much of your own heart…

    • Dang, I wish they would have aaccepted him. Maybe the world would have been different, but then my birth in Argentina may never have happened, Hmmmm. I think I would sacrafice myself to save all of that horror. I still think dad’s family still would have moved anyway. They had a heart for missionary work, and there was great revival in Argentina. Okay, I’m still here aand loved the thought your poem created. Excellente!

    • As an 18 year old studying history, I forced myself to read the whole of “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle) in order to try and understand where he was coming from. I found it to be a very sad read. He clearly loved art, but the irrational hate that became political was so disturbing. It was then I first thought of traveling back in time, and tucking him securely into art school.

  3. oh my, this just gave me chills… yes, you have to wonder how things would have played out if just one thing had been different, if there had been another outlet for him. really interesting take on the prompt!

  4. Very creative, going back in time like that. One has to wonder if things might have been different if not for this…

  5. Yes, I wonder if history would have been totally changed if he had been accepted in that field. Interesting to speculate what might have been.

  6. Nice to imagine…great if it would have even worked…somehow I doubt that the seeds of hate planted inside him would have found a different way of coming to fruition and causing great damage anyway, somehow, even if not that widespread….I would hope it would have changed the course of history, though..inspired write.

    • One theory is that he caught syphilis from a Jewish prostitute, so maybe if he’d been involved in his studies and with other students it would not have happened, and some of the hate would have never been watered. But, one can only dream..

  7. …Hitler was such a horror… if had been accepted & not rejected in that institution he would have had a different views of ART i guess.. art of beauty rather than of destruction & blood… i’m glad i was not birthed under his time… excellent write… smiles…

  8. A perfect villanelle – well done, I find this structure very challenging and a usurper of many hours so I appreciate your labours. You’ve also been quite inventive with your perspective of the applicant in this scenario and your optimistic denouement is ‘a consummation devoutly to be wished’. Well done Rowan. Again.

    • Thanks Mike. I find writing structured poems a bit like bird watching: If I get a hint of a bird (poem) and I identify it has repeating stripes on the tail (a refrain), I then have to work out what exact kind (e.g., a rondeau, a triolet etc.), and hopefully I get it right once the choice is made of a bar-tailed godwit (villanelle). (Given your about page, I thought you might appreciate the analogy).

      • Your explanation is a poetic allusion in itself – you just can’t help yourself, can you 😀

        And yes, your analogy is quite apt and very perceptive of you – thank you for speaking my language.

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