“I knew—had long known—how poetry can break open locked chambers of possibility, restore numbed zones to feeling, recharge desire. And, in spite of conditions at large, it seemed to me that poetry in the United States had never been more various and rich in its promise and its realized offerings. But I had, more than I wanted to acknowledge, internalized the idea, so common in this country, so strange in most other places, that poetry is powerless, or that it can have nothing to do with the kinds of power that organize us as a society, as relationships within communities. If asked, I would have said that I did not accept this idea. Yet it haunted me.” —Adrienne Rich in preface to her book What Is Found There, Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (W.W.Norton and Company, 1993)
You bare witness to the spirit of the times,
recording the minutes, building monuments
with your soft technology of healing, elevating
consciousness, What joy you feel in rising up!
Rising up, you Poets, from silence and solitude,
from ear to the ground, observation is your
spiritual practice, you’ve all been oppressors and
oppressed, now use words to change the world.
© 2019, Jamie Dedes