Thursday, February 15, 2007

Poetry Makes Nothing Happen

Thank Heaven: the world is hectic enough as it is.


Alex said...

On the contrary, nothing has ever happened in history for which poetry cannot be held accountable in the long-term....

It has been noted elsewhere (probably Weinberger) that this is generally only understood among dictators, who usually make sure that poets are among the first to go against the wall.

On an entirely different note:

What can two hundred million dollars do for poetry?

Andrew Philip said...

Thought that might provoke a reaction! Okay, I confess there was a thick veneer of irony in my statement, or perhaps an infection of weariness from working at the Scottish Parliament.

I remember that point from Weinberger, now that you mention it. In fact, it illustrates the thought that was buried deep behind my post: that poetry might not make much happen in the outside world, but it can make a heck of a lot happen inside its readers, which is what makes it dangerous. (The same thought is captured in Bruce Cockburn's song "Maybe the Poet")

The Moneyed Muse: an interesting piece. What on earth is "robust" poetry when it's at home (or, for that matter, dining out in a fancy hotel)? Is it only conincidence that Chicago is the centre of the neocon universe?

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