Monday, October 08, 2007

 

'Poetry can speak decisively to power'



"It is the duty [of poets] to say what we think-and-feel to be true as individuals, and to express that truth in ways which are memorable and telling. That's why tyrants fear poets: they convert particular truths into general truths, and broadcast them. They encapsulate these truths in forms which survive the immediate circumstances of their creation. They write things which lead a life of allegory at the same time as having precise applications. Poets may be unacknowledged legislators - but their achievements long outlast the statues and statutes of powers they criticise."


Read the speech by Andrew Motion, Britain's poet laureate, here.

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