Poetry of the political imagination

“Poetry of the political imagination is a matter of both vision and language. Any progressive social change must be imagined first, and that vision must find its most eloquent possible expression to move from vision to reality. Any oppressive social condition, before it can change, must be named and condemned in words that persuade by stirring the emotions, awakening the senses. Thus the need for the political imagination.

Political imagination goes beyond protest to articulate an artistry of dissent. The question is not whether poetry and politics can mix. That question is a luxury for those who can afford it. The question is how best to combine poetry and politics, craft and commitment, how to find the artistic imagination equal to the intensity of the experience and the quality of the ideas.”

– Martín Espada

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