“…one day, the markets plummet, treaties crumble, pollsters wake to shock, and suddenly poetry looks old and solid enough to cling to.”

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“Of course, poems don’t move stock markets or armies. But they have a way of surfacing, calmly, whenever the ‘acknowledged’ legislators scramble. Usually all sorts of pragmatic disciplines—economics, political science, statistical analysis—seem to hold the globe in hand; then, one day, the markets plummet, treaties crumble, pollsters wake to shock, and suddenly poetry looks old and solid enough to cling to. Verses of mourning or anger or consolation make the social-media rounds. Impassioned members of Congress start quoting the poem enshrined at the Statue of Liberty, forgetting that it’s nowhere enshrined in law; it’s ‘only’ a sonnet, the brainchild of a single 19th-century citizen and an afterthought to the statue’s original conception.”

-Austin Allen – Notes from Auden Land: Why Auden is as essential to our times as Orwell. Poetry – April 26, 2017

 

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