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15 January 2008


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You got it right and frack 'em if they can't get with it. Solid comeback by the way. I was nodding in agreement all the way through, but even if I didn't agree, I respect your right to say it and willing to fight about it, too. Honestly, a disrespect to women? Give me a break. This poet, feminist, citizen says more power to you. Hell, with permission, I'd like to copy this post and plaster it to a few foreheads. Okay, I won't assault anyone with it but I'm ready to stand up and sing you praise (well, you really don't want to hear me sing.)lol


And to answer your question: Yes, poetry is political. The personal is political. Frankly, if the poet ain't speakin' up, I wanna know why the hell not! Another writer said art is the guts of the people. Let's not get it twisted, if you're not going to be real like showing the ugly, why are you writing? You've got me started now. I'll bow before you get more emails and anyone interested in going there with me, feel free to write.

Crafty Green Poet

Interesting post, I think you're entirely right. We need to be able to talk about things that aren't talked about. I think that what you say in your poem about voting patterns is entirely true for some women, not all of us, of course, but some. I've also been accused of various writerly crimes when I've used someone elses voice in my poems. Whatever happened to poetic licence, particularly when its the best way to address an issue?


I wondered, when i read the poem, if you wouldn't hit some folks' hot buttons with it and sure enough, you did....ain't it great!
There's nothing quite like controversy to get a dialogue going...


susan: "Frack"? "Frack"! Not only do we share bandwidths (note the Personal|Political category on the sidebar) we watch the same tv shows...

And -- all my work is under a Creative Commons license; feel free to share, with attribution (preferably with linkage.)

Crafty Green Poet: writerly crimes & poetic license -- the same thing, no?

beadbabe49: yep, those buttons are hot!

Actually, I'm pleased at the controversy for just that reason: dialogue.

Michael A. Wells

Ah, but to incite controversy in poetry is to awaken the reader. It is to pull them out of la-la-land and cause them to sit up and curse you (the voice) or shout out in agreement.

Nice flowery words can create "nice" poems. I detest "nice" poetry. It takes so little imagination, so little effort and produces just one more poem that goes into the "nice" heep and no one remembers it from the others piled there.

One of the more poewrful poems I ever read was written in the voice of a man arrested as a rapest who couldn't recall doing what he was charged with, but came to assume it must be true because everybody said he did it. Anyone who read it had their emotions pulled all over the landscape and one could not be moved one way or the other by the poem. Most seemed to feel both anger and empathy.

Well done! From both a poet and person with a long history of political activism.


Ah there's nothing like a poem that raising a little hell.

Jim Murdoch

I have to say I agree with you. I can't say much about the politics. I have a hard enough time getting to grips with politics this side of the pond. I do have one truth about politics, something my father taught me: "Jimmy," he said, "No one votes governments in, only out," and, as I've grown older and seen a few come and go, I've realised that's the case. Not one of them has all the answers so when we get sick of one, and it's long enough since the last lot were in and we've had time to forget what a bad job they did last time, what do we do but vote them in again.

As for writers and lying, well we're speaking the same language there. Just have a look at the title to my blog. I've posted the following poem a couple of times but I expect you'll relate to it and it'll save me prattling on any longer than I have to.


Writers are all liars. We all are.
But at least they are honest liars.

They write down those necessary lies,
the kind that move men to leaps of faith
or excuse us when we fail to jump.

In the end it doesn't matter that
they let us down in the cruellest ways.

August 18, 1996


Good on you for stirring the pot. I am continually irritated by the widespread presumption that a poem's "I" must be autobiographical; few people make the same mistake with regard to popular music. Good political poetry is a relatively rare thing, in part because writers don't have the sense to make it personal, as you have done.


Michael: I fear that much of what I do you might consider to be "nice" poetry -- but I work at it. Whereas, this one came through like a bell-ring, with relatively little revision. And I suspected, as Cathy says, that it might raise a little hell...

"to awaken the reader" -- and myself -- that's what all of it is for, yes?

Jim's blog is called The Truth About Lies" -- couldn't be more spot-on, eh? Thanks for sharing your poem.

Dave: I wish I could claim 'sense' in writing this poem, but it wasn't that at all. Or perhaps it was -- all sensation... & thanks for the heads-up on the non-working links. Fixed now, I think.


I liked the poem . I'd suspect that more men than women lied to keep their spouse happy . ;D


Great poem, sb. Clever and made me laugh at the ending. Just got an email from a friend whose daughter emailed her about your "controversial poem that is being linked on political blogs"! Isn't that N's friend? she wondered. YES! I answered proudly.


I suspected something was happening in email -- from my stats, and because I'm quite sure Andrew Sullivan does not read my blog. Someone must have emailed this to him.

It seems to me that your poem had a lot more sense to it and added more to a discussion of the New Hampshire primary than many thousands upon thousands of words babbled forth by the political pundits of the media.


Shakespeare should only have written in a man's voice, who did he think he was?And I have it on good authority that he lied in some of his poems.

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