Thursday, April 14, 2011

poetry & politics

[one day later. and i realize i picked the wrong  poetry/politics quote. so here this new version, for my inner editor, with the lines i meant to quote - lines that are less about poets and thunderstorms, and more about the poet's task]

it's a time of little and big changes here in Germany. a mini change, but an interesting detail: one of the main weekly newspapers now started to include a regular poetry page in their issues. not at the end, not small, not as special. but on page 6, right next to main topics, every week: 2 political poems, 2 poets. in full page size.

which made me think of poetry and politics (a theme that also popped up in a facebook conversation). and look for this article i once read: "The Politics of Poetry" by David Orr, published in Poetry Foundation (which changed layout, as i just noticed). the article includes 2 quotes from Shelley and Auden:

Poets, Shelley tells us, aren't just people who think of ways to write new poems, but people who imagine new ways of being and perceiving...
Auden's gentle mockery begins from the premise that poetic thinking is essentially apocalyptic; that poetry involves a kind of totalizing vision to which everything, even the poet himself, becomes subordinate ...
[That]'s also how democratic politics is sometimes thought to work, at least when we're thinking of "politics" in its more abstract incarnations.
(and i now just learned how to do blockquotes. (and so fitting: today really is like that: brackets of projects leading to brackets of thought in one long chain.)) (and following the poet's task, here another essay link: The Task of the Poet / Ibsen: "...And what does it mean, then, to be a poet?")

another change: Germany is turning green. the green superhero-style figure on the cover of the newspaper: that is the first green governor we have. and the expectations people have of him. thing is, he has a job from hell, with a pile of difficult projects that the conservative party left on the political place, which are basically all not very green (mega-railway project, prolonging the run-time of nuclear plants, and added to that, financial participation in energy companies that are into nuclear plants... - a whole web of projects).

the real surprise, though, is that currently all political parties discover their green side since the Green party gained a lot of votes in the last regional votes. also, some of the conservative hardliners now get replaced by more moderate and sympathic candidates. guess why: sudden change of  mind - or political maneuvers? still, it's a huge shift in the political landscape, a process that no one expected to happen, least of all the politicians. here 2 articles that give a bit of an idea:

Green Headache: "The U-turn on nuclear policy Chancellor Angela Merkel announced"...
Why Angela Merkel's Failures Continue to Multiply: Chancellor Angela Merkel's way of governing is to gauge the popular mood and act accordingly, even if doing so is not necessarily best for Germany.

currently reading... 
- a Spirou and Fantasio Comic, bought at Leipzig Book Fair, Marsupilami included
- a delicious short story (delicious in a bloody way, that is):  Pewter Badge by Michael J. Solender. the story won a Derringer Award.

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