Here is one man’s poem. His poetry is not easy to listen to. It is poetry, which means shining a light on uncomfortable things, dark things, things which are hard to look at. But we are human, most of us, and so we look, and listen — as we must.
In the words of Nick Laird at the Guardian, poetry . . . “lets you – it makes you – experience in words the feelings of others. And then it makes you do it again.”
In the words of JFK (who was assassinated three weeks later), “When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses, for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment.”
JFK’s speech at Amherst led Johnson to establish the NEA two years later. Which conservatives, being among other things profoundly uncomfortable with truth, have been trying to kill ever since.
Nothing ever changes, does it?
If you’re not squirming, or crying, or ashamed, or raging during this, this is how you can know that you are a dead thing.