Friday, June 11, 2004

Politics and poetry, eh?

I don't think you can even be a good political activist without considering your issue in a complex way, because any issue worthy of consideration is quite frankly complex. Unfortunately you mention politics and everyones' brains tend to go out the window. Political poetry is perhaps the most brainless of them all. I'm not sure why. It seems good political poetry should be possible. Still I can't think of any. Everyone keeps throwing around Koumunyaaka, but he's the worst. A word of politics comes out his mouth and it becomes the worst kind of Lahgston Hughes imitation ( and I hate Lamgston Hughes). It's almost as cliche as his poems about jazz. I think Nate's right about the problem with Jorge's craft solution. Jorge is right that the problem with political poems is usually that they don't pay enough attention to craft, but form and style do overlap a great deal and only in theory can they be dealt with separately.

As far as apolitical poems, I suppose whether or not they exist depends on your politics. As far as I am concerned, if politics doesn't take in all aspects of life--even the more trivial ones--it isn't very useful. And once you start dictating which things are more important where do you stop? Is it trivial and meaningless to deal with state politics because there are much more important world politics to deal with? Of course not. The only menaingless thing is this arbitarary distinction between what is important and what is'nt.


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