Doug Anderson: What is Poetry For?

Vox Populi

I’ve been thinking about all the conversations about whether or not poetry “matters” in this culture and thinking maybe it’s a silly question. We have a country on the verge of civil war with a racist Congress that kisses corporate ass, is intent on setting women’s reproductive rights back to the nineteen fifties and returning to the country to pre-Roosevelt impoverishment. We have continuing war with Islamism that is partly our fault and getting worse. Fifty percent of the electorate is too stupid to participate in a democracy. In this context, a question like, “Does poetry matter” seems laughable. I can only say that poetry stimulates imagination, a quality we are desperately in need of and which seems to be absent in the halls of power, where the same mistakes are made over and over again.

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Dear Congress: everywhere art and science are reaching out to you. Great poems…

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