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Can Poetry save the World?

In Godard's film "Notre Musique," the palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish contemplates on the role of poetry in social/political/national conflicts. His main example is Greece. He says he is looking for "the poet of Troy." He wonders if poetry is a tool or a symbol of power, i.e. whether the Greeks took Troy because of their poetic superiority, or if their poetic superiority was a symbol of their overall superiority.

What then is the role of poetry in contemporary conflict? Can it help ease the tension between nations? Can it give power to those who need it? Can we make poetry a part of our identities, and a tool for our progress? Or have we given that right only to our technology?


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    May 29 2011: Poetry is the blood in the body of free expression. Each poem that circulates both delivers essential truth and carries off waste. Poetry will not save the world. Nor will music. Nor will any individual form of free expression, whether artistic, journalistic, theatrical, etc. But to the extent that free expression is saved, so too the world will be saved.

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