Tuesday, May 04, 2010
David Biespiel: Why Aren't Poets More Politically Active?
For sure, America's poems will go on clicking along, phrase by phrase, line by line, like some undiscovered nerve in the multi-multi-story of American life: cacophonous, diverse, unsettled, hybridized. I want to suggest that a great public will peer into the world of poetry if the poets will speak outside of the chiseled monuments of poems and distinct aesthetic debates directly to matters beyond memory, private reclamation, and linguistic chop-chop. Surely some poets are ready to escape the art's strange civic silence and enter the blunderbuss of American democracy. For too long now American poets have followed their own footsteps. They've roamed and rambled. And while poets have had their backs turned against American civic life, go figure, America has turned its back on poetry too.