Monday, September 20, 2010

Poems for Peace by Philip Metres

In this Poetry Foundation article, Philip Metres, who was part of a panel called “Peace Shelves” at Split This Rock this year, talks about the challenges of compiling a peace canon of poetry (as opposed to merely anti-war). For the full article, click here.

How to imagine peace, how to make peace? In our conversations on the Peace Shelf, three general subcategories emerged, though these were full of overlap and contradiction: Sorrows, Resistance, and Alternative Visions. It’s simple enough: we need to witness and chronicle the horrors of war, we need to resist and find models of resistance, and we need to imagine and build another world. Even if modern poetry has been marked by a resistance to the glorification of war, vividly shown by the World War I soldier poets and many others, the important work of poetic dissent has been, too often, via negativa—resistance to the dominant narrative, rather than offering another way.

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