Yesterday morning at THE SPLIT I was on a panel with John Rosenwald,Lee Sharkey and Jody Bolz. This was a lit-date between the editors of Beloit Poetry Journal and Poet Lore. The session was well attended and consisted of an excellent exchange between poets.Our topic was "What Makes Effective Political Poetry? Editors' Perspectives." I raised three points:
1.What are the politics of the editors?
2.What do we mean by the word effective?
3.What do we want a poem to do?
Lee Sharkey handed out a list of quotes by writers who had addressed the issue of political poetry. The one I liked the best was by John Berger:
Every authentic poem contributes to the labour of poetry...to bring together what life has separated or violence has torn apart...Poetry can repair no loss, but it defies the space which separates. And it does this by its continual labor of reassembling what has been scattered.("The Hour of Poetry")
So, I said goodbye to Jan Beatty on the bus earlier today. She wanted to go hear the DC Youth Slam Team Finals.
I headed home with a poem in my head.I was a happy poet. It had been a good week. Now after Saturday, must come a Sunday kind of love.
"Don't you hear this hammer ring?
I'm gonna split this rock
And split it wide!
When I split this rock,
Stand by my side.