I know it’s a movie and that it’s crafted to elicit an emotional response, but can poetry really have the power to move people to action? Absolutely!
Poetry is a call to action. Canada’s Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke states, “In very short order, those people who feel that the current American administration is not respectful enough of human rights and civil liberties will find themselves turning to poetry—either written by others, or that they may choose to write themselves—to express their fundamental opposition.”
Slam poetry is a powerful way to get people to pay attention.
There has never been a better time for political poetry to make its mark. The digital platform options now available to poets empower them to disseminate their words globally and almost instantly. It’s no longer a Dead Poets Society.
In fact, The Poetry Coalition, an American group of poetry organizations has been formed to “enhance the visibility of poetry and its impact on American culture…” They are planning to shape the poetry narrative into one of relevance and necessity.
But, modern technology doesn’t mean that we have turned away from our poets of the past. The opposite is true. The Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org has a comprehensive database of easily searchable poetry, including poet biographies, along with audio recordings and weekly podcasts. Their mission statement:
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.
I will leave you with today’s audio poem of the day.