Litkicks Message Board Archive

Poetry, and Politics - what relevance has the word to the world of action?

Posted to Poetry and Politics




I can help delving into this question today. I've had to study W. B. Yeats for the last two weeks - a man who believed that words and revolution are connected. But Yeats self-professedly retired from the world of mass-politics, because he saw the masses as a crowd that, when put together in space and time, became barbarous and violent. yeats saw his word being twisted and mis-applied before his eyes - I can't help comparing it to Jesus' original message and Christianity's crusades.
What relevance do our words have on the greater world of practical/political desision making?
yeats in the end decided to write to a small intellectual/literary elite and abandon his desire to reach the masses who were for him bass, reactionary, violent and shallow. Do we admit that predominantly we write to ourselves, a cordoned off elite of 'deep' poets-for-peace? Anti-War protests can be extraordinarily shallow and polemical - they can actually do more harm than good, only succeeding in entrenching pro-war campainers further into their equally polemical lines. Argumentitive trench warfare. Words and World?
Ha! My words and the World? I don't think, at least right now, that they have any Affect at all! That's the truth of it. But now comes the difficult question - are my words then, still real?