Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Plague of Locusts. (via Scrupuli)

"Poets have been known to be smug about their fine uselessness, but the Vietnam War led many poets of my generation to try to use poetry to make something stop happening. We will never know whether all that we wrote shortened that nightmare by one hour, saved a single life or the leaves on one tree, but it seemed unthinkable to many of us not to make the attempt...we produced a great many bad poems, but our opposition to that horror and degradation was more than an intellectual formulation, and sometimes it tapped depths of bewilderment, grief, rage, admiration, that took us by surprise.Occasionally it called forth writings that may be poems after all." --W S Merwin, introduction to The Second Four Books of Poems (1993)

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