Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Poems of Peace

The issue
of writing poetry that is engaged with the struggles of the world is as old as verse itself, or maybe song. Poets in the Cleveland area seem to have no problem with this...from such early poets as Langston Hughes and Russell Atkins, through rebel poet d.a.levy and the mimeograph revolution of the 1960, up to more recent times with Daniel Thompson, Ray McNiece, Mary Weems, Terry Provost, and others. We poets write about what matters to us and the world.

That doesn't mean we don't write about Nature and our family and the immediate world around us. There is room for all types of poems, all ways of saying and witnessing. In the engaged poetry, say of Ohioan Kenneth Patchen, the work was immediate and yes often topical...yet the struggles of WW II, Vietnam, Iraq all seem to speak to each other, and to us. We learn to witness our world through the saying and naming, and hopefully the understanding we gain from this. There is discussion of this on my Blog...http://dogger-larry.blogspot.com/ I invite you to join in the discussion.

In our recent Bottom Dog Press anthology Come Together: Imagine Peace, the poets were asked to image peace...as John Lennon did in his songs "Imagine." How they did that was left to them, but the results speak to what matters. When we lose the ability to imagine peace, we lose the ability to bring it into our or our children's lives. My wife Ann and I joined with Phil Metres in the vision and art of so many fine poets, it has been its own reward. But we do want to share it with others...May it spread.

1 comment:

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Worth noting that there's a reading for and from the book, sponsored by the Firelands Writing Center, this Sunday at 2pm in Sandusky.

See the News-Messenger article here


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau