The Poetic Politics Of Poet Protest

As thousands of poets protest a war with Iraq, some wonder why poets have taken a lead on the issue and what effect their art might have on the issue. Robert Pinsky: “What poetry does have is the ability to speak memorably in the breath of each reader. Poetry’s strength was the inner universe. The power of poetry has to do with its intimacy and human scale. The poems that were presented to the President were an idiosyncratic mix: wildly various in content, point of view, cogency, literary distinction… That variety represents a certain power, more than a weakness. It reflects something profound about both American culture and the art of poetry”.