Real Politics, Real Poetry
Program #BARA008. Recorded in Boulder, CO on July 06, 2012.
The role of creative people in society has long been debated. Should they focus on their art and stay away from politics? Poets, writers, painters, filmmakers, musicians, artists in general occupy a unique position. Their impact and influence extend far and wide. They illuminate realities in imaginative ways that expand awareness and understanding. Think of Dylan’s “Masters of War” or Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” or Picasso’s “Guernica” or Langston Hughes’ poem “Columbia,” where he exposes the depredations of U.S. imperialism. He writes:
“In military uniforms, you’ve taken the sweet life
Of all the little brown fellows
In loincloths and cotton trousers.
When they’ve resisted,
You’ve yelled, “Rape,”
Being one of the world’s big vampires,
Why don’t you come on out and say so
Like Japan, and England, and France,
And all the other nymphomaniacs of power."
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