Do engineers dream of eiderdown chairs and perhaps a world without gravity? Do they poke with soft pencils at yesterday’s dreams and the monstrous dark in the bedsit? Do they skilfully rush to the day’s blasting rays at the stretch of a morning which never delays?
I know a few engineers and they are interesting people. Many of them have a creative side or an interest in the arts. However, in profession binaries engineering (like those other sensible paths: law, medicine, business) is often set in opposition to creative professions in art, music, dance and writing.
The engineers in this poem are, of course, a one-dimensional group set in opposition with an understood, yet unmentioned artist. These engineers cannot imagine a world where chairs are made of feathers or objects to do not respond to predetermined scientific givens. With an assured, strategic and rational understanding of their lives and the world, they choose to neither entertain nostalgia nor awaken melancholia. In new experiences they are guided by caution, or even attempt to avoid change. But change, like new mornings, proceeds with its own regularity.
To all my engineering (legal, medical, business and scientific) friends who carry artist’s souls, please indulge the binary. To my artist friends – I know full well that many of us are interested in scaffolding, load-bearing walls, the chemistry of glazes and neuroscience research. It is a great pity that in the myth of professions we are set against each other by the monies and social prestige allotted to our disciplines.
Under those blasting rays, may we all sit together on eiderdown chairs, poking at our dreams with soft pencils.
I have written a few other poems about professions and work:
An Artist Works
A Bequest of Wonder
At the Right Age
A Definition, Notably for the Cloud-Dwelling Artists
Books for preview and purchase:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness