Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Protest Poetry?

There is a strong tradition of protest poetry in Britain as well as around the world (Sri Lanka has a very interesting poetic tradition in this respect). What with the riots currently going on in the UK, I'm wondering whether we'll see an upsurge in this genre. I for one would welcome it. And I have been working on a few protest poems of my own, which I'm sure I'll share with you in due time. Cadaverine Magazine's mission statement states they believe 'literature is news that stays news'. I agree. I think any writer has a duty to report on current events, in whatever form that may be, and filter that news through the heart and through the lived, raw, felt experience of the subject. Traditional news is all propaganda and infomercials. Literature is telling the stories of the world with heart and meaning. So I absolutely think it's time we writers pick up our pens as our angry brothers and sisters pick up their swords (or, if you're a pacifist/literalist, their placards), and take up this war.

The writers are revolting.

I think it's about time we left the nice elegies and quaint pastorals, or the cat poems, or the endless poems about banal love, and got a little angry again. We can return to the 'nice' subjects when things get comfortable again. In the meantime, let's kick up a bit of a fuss, huh?

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