Die digter se politieke stem

Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel

In the squares of the city–in the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office–I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

In ‘n artikel op die Poetry Foundation se webblad spreek David Biespiel sy kommer uit oor die Amerikaanse digters se beskroomde afwesigheid wanneer dit kom by politieke kwessies. En ja, uiteraard herinner dit my summier aan Danie Marais se soortgelyke opmerkings enkele weke gelede.  

En dit is veral die tweede paragraaf in die aanloop tot sy betoog wat myns insiens van belang is vir ons: “This divide between poet and civic life is bad for American poetry and bad for America, too. Decade after decade, poetry slips into its fifteen-hundred-copy-print-run oblivion and scattered identities on the Internet, and we hear not one chirrup about it from the leading thinkers or writers who have access to a dialogue with the greater public. The culture-consuming audience that should provide poetry’s best readers has scarcely noticed its diminishment. Or if they have noticed, they have also come to feel excluded, unconcerned, and dismissive because they believe that American poetry has become so esoteric that figuring out the differences among the warring poets and styles is wholly unnecessary for leading a culturally rich or civically engaged American life.”

Daarna volg ‘n indringende – en myns insiens ‘n briljante – uiteensetting van die digkuns en wat die aktualiteit daarvan behoort te wees. Sy hele betoog sentreer ondermeer rondom die volgende standpunte: “The same forces that make the American citizenry anti-poetic have also made Americans, including poets, anti-civic. The citizenry has turned inward and toward very specific pursuits–so while the American poet was specializing in the self, the potential audience for poetry was too.” […] “Given the ability our poets have to write poems that penetrate differences and discover connection, and given poetry’s ancient predisposition for moral persuasion, surely America’s poets are uniquely qualified to speak openly in the public square among diverse or divisive communities.”

En dan, sy uiteindelike slotsom: “The American poet must speak truth to power and interpret suffering. And just as soon as the American poet actually speaks in public about civic concerns other than poetry, both American poetry and American democracy will be better off for it.”

Beslis die moeite werd om te lees. Die volledige artikel is beskikbaar by Poetry Foundation óf Huffington Post. En, indien jy ook weer wil teruglees na Danie Marais se essay “Stilte in die hof!” kan jy dit hier vind.

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Vanoggend is daar twee nuwe plasings om aan te kondig, en dit is Carina Stander se gedig in nege dele “‘n Kind het uit my uit gegaan“, en Chris Coolsma se heerlike stuk oor misverstande in die poësie wat hy na aanleiding van ‘n artikel deur Robert Anker geskryf het.

Lekker lees en wees tog maar deurentyd op die uitkyk vir struikrowers; hulle kom dikwels in die gedaante van ‘n swak gedig

Mooi bly.

LE

 

 

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