The Poet In Dark Times

Dec 23 2012 @ 2:37pm

Writing at Poetry magazine, Harriet Deutsch considers the ambiguities of the publication's approach to verse in times of war:

Poets have long expressed contradictory ideas about their role in wartime, and Poetry’s editorial engagement with war has reflected such clashing tendencies. In the century since the magazine’s inception, some editors have asked for war poems, while others have pointedly refrained from doing so; some writers have submitted swarms of contributions, while others have attacked the staff for according war poetry any power or purpose. The publication’s shifting attitudes toward war poetry reflect the tensions that beset poets who are called on to be “political,” as well as the changing relationship between poetry and politics in the 20th century.

Recent Dish coverage of poetry and war here.

(Image: A scan of a final draft of "Anthem for Doomed Youth" by Wilfred Owen, from Wikimedia Commons)