Some delicious snark from Elder Olson from his book, "Last Poems."
Undelivered Lecture on a Stabile
This is a stabile, numskulls -- reasonably so called
Because it is stationary, as opposed to a mobile,
Also reasonably so called because it moves.
And do not ask me what it represents:
Would you be happier if you knew that it depicts,
Say, a rooster on crutches,
A flamingo struggling to open an umbrella,
A jackass floundering on stilts?
Must a cloud look like a camel or a whale,
A field resemble a quilt, a mountain a coffee-pot
Before you find it beautiful?
A line can hang slack as a slung rope in rain,
Be tense as a fiddle-string,
Be a snail's crawl, a locust's leap, an arrow's flight:
Colors can rush out, or stealthily withdraw,
Motionless mass can seethe with violent motion,
Silent metal may cry out or sing;
Until you know this,
Look, look, and look: but you will never see.