Poetry and Politics


So I was reading this article a while ago and I thought there were some interesting things that it broached that maybe we never got to in our class debate of poetry and politics. I personally feel that there are politics attached to words and there is no escaping the political readings that certain words or images might issue. I believe this is because we are political beings just by being people. I feel that even though your intention was to write a beautiful poem about a landscape you might be read as an environmentalist poet with an agenda and there is no escaping that.

So this article is mainly about how poetry and politics can stand together, urging that any previous ideas about poesy being “not in the business of doing things” is wrong and that there are ways poetry does work in politics. The article urges that already we have seen political poets part of movements, such as Percy Bysshe Shelle, and that in the past people have seen poets as untrustworthy in any sort of political power. David Orr, the writer of the article, points out that politicians are different kinds of poets, persuading people with their rhetoric. He recalls how our country’s highest points of politics are described as poetic (“I had a dream”) while other times calling poetic language empty and without real logic. This article, though not giving us any answers as to if politics is escapable offers how poetry can be linked to politics and how that affects views of poetry.

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