Protesting Poets – Tradition or Knee-Jerk Reaction?

“The belief that poets are naturally rebellious and ‘progressive’ is a fairly recent one. It is equally naive to think that poetic talent confers on its bearer some special grasp of political wisdom. Just in the past hundred years, renowned poets have supported some very bad causes, including communism and fascism. Today, the literary community is overwhelmingly left of center. Is this groundswell of antiwar sentiment among poets driven by well-considered opposition to the war, or is it a knee-jerk reaction?”