Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

‘speak truth to power’ ~

 http://irregulartimes.com/stencilspeaktruthtopowershirt.htmIt’s an old Quaker saying — one I’ve always loved. The saying hearkens back to the 1950s, although it has taken on a life of its own. It goes well w/ a poem I read today, “Albatross in Co. Antrim,” where poet Robin Robertson likens today’s poet to the unlucky albatross: The poet is like this prince of the clouds/ who rides the storm of war and scorns the archer; /exiled on the ground, in all this derision,/ his giant wings prevent his marching.

Advertisement

In some countries, writers are not only honoured, but actually feared. When rebels in a small Latin American dictatorship wanted the plight of citizens made public, they contacted the poet Carolyn Forché, whose subsequent poem ‘The Colonel‘ became a sensation, with its brutally beautiful images of tyranny and cruelty. Forché said she demurred initially, when asked to go to El Salvador, arguing that she was ‘just a poet.’ But the persuasive El Salvadoran urging her to come responded that poets in his country were feared. And that when Forché returned, she would write poetry that would help Americans see the truth. And then things would change.

Advertisement

Metta ~ the symbol for loving kindness

Speak knowledge to power. Beginner’s heart. Poets, beginners, all of us who feel that to speak up for those who lack voices (or the power to make themselves heard) is critical work. And it’s work we need desperately as the poor go unfed, and the ill untreated, and the homeless unhoused. When profit becomes more important to power than peace and kindness, we all need to speak up.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kim Blevins

    I love the idea of poets being feared for the power of their words. Writing is powerful. I want to communicate that to my students, to live it in front of them. Thanks for reminding me that it all matters, all these things we do, even though we feel like little dandelion wisps floating with no weapons, we have our words and our wisdom and our stories.

Previous Posts

cat helpers
This is my cat Hector, trying to help me think. He's good at this -- I don't actually think, but he does help. Which I suppose is something. As even my ...

posted 7:44:06pm Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

wanted: the perfect house to become a home
This is the house I identify with childhood, on the left side of this giant 'duplex,' with the giant screened porches upstairs. It's a villa, with a ...

posted 3:01:12pm Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

cultural burdens, with homage to Carol Emarthle-Douglas
This may be the most moving piece of art I've seen in many many months. When it came across my FB ...

posted 5:48:11pm Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

silver linings
For those d'un certain âge, the Rolling Stones said it best: You can't always get what you want/But if you try sometimes you just might find/You get what ...

posted 6:20:17pm Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

the impulse to art
This, my friends, is art. And better than anything else I can think of, it demonstrates our deep-set need to create beauty. The Dalai Lama ...

posted 9:41:23pm Aug. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.