A Train of Thoughts: Car 1

Those who advocate democracy and yet make a fetish of vilifying those whose beliefs are different from theirs, what value do they see in democracy?

–an aphorism of poet William Stafford, according to his son, Kim, as stated on this podcast, “Walking and Writing for Peace” from the Poetry Foundation on W. Stafford’s poem “Peace Walk,” “a conflicted poem about a war protest.”

Also from the same podcast:

There is a sense that I think damns so many poems — political poems — that they’ve decided what the truth is before they’ve begun.

–Philip Metres, poet and author of Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front since 1941

(I’m not exactly sure what’s in the engine car driving this particular “train,” but I think it may well be something like “examining the intersection of politics and art” — an old yet unresolved question/tension/interest of mine that I find myself returning to continuously, especially of late.)


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