Friday, February 01, 2008

Saw Wai news

Thanks to Jilly at Poetry Hut Blog for this link: Detained poet denied visits and parcels

In some countries, poets fly to NYC to drink, talk shop, and buy stuff. In some countries, they get thrown in jail if they insult the government.

Which is not to say that it couldn't happen here ... at the moment we do have a government that is particularly un-fond of being insulted, and certainly US citizens have been detained for saying things the government didn't like. But it's really bad in Burma.

Some days I feel helpless about the world and I wish I could just wave a magic wand and fix everything. That's not particularly useful, is it?


Emily said...

I wish I had that wand, too.

When I hear stories like this, it makes me wonder about the whole (stupid) 'Should poetry be political?' debate in the Americana po-biz. I was reading some more of Dorianne Laux and Kim Addonizio's "The Poet's Companion" last night, and they have a great chapter on "Witnessing." For some reason, I never considered that word to describe what we sometimes do as poets, and maybe what we do more of in our poetry.

Burma, can we have a witness?

Emily said...

oops, I edited that wrong:
maybe what we SHOULD do more of in our poetry

EKSwitaj said...

I try to think of poetry as a tool for change even when it doesn't refer directly to the present political situation. Cultural change can lead political change.

Of course it's not enough, but that's why I keep going-- until it is enough.

Erin said...

All the more reason to exercise our rights of free speech, even though it's not always that simple or free, to be active witnesses to whatever we see as inadequate or inacceptable.

Here or there. Anywhere.

So long as we remember to praise the things worth praising along the way.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to Bush and Co anyone can be detained pretty much on a whim now.

Too bad only a couple Presidential candidates are alarmed by this rending of the law (and one already dropped out).

This makes me so mad. Stupidheads.

ren.kat said...

I know this is an old post, but I have been searching for updates. There is not magic wand but there are things you can do. Censorship spreads from country to country and what happens elsewhere creeps in- in the name of "protection". As you know.