Talk about poetry should include freedom: Palestinian poet

Talk about poetry should include freedom: Palestinian poet
Highlights

Eminent Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish on Friday said that when we talk about poetry, we should also talk about freedom of having a political voice and saying the truth, as the two should always go hand in hand

New Delhi: Eminent Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish on Friday said that when we talk about poetry, we should also talk about freedom of having a political voice and saying the truth, as the two should always go hand in hand.

Speaking on the opening day of the Raza Biennale of Asian Poetry - VAK 2019, organised by the Raza Foundation at the India International Centre, the poet noted that due to prevailing "new forms of colonialism in societies and among some poets, it is becoming difficult to be a poet in these dark ages".

"I think we should not talk about poetry, poetry should talk about itself but when we do talk about poetry, we should talk about freedom.

Freedom in poetry basically means three things: the struggle and freedom to find one's voice, the freedom to be yourself all the while staying within the societal and political norms, and the freedom to say the truth which is not a welcome figure in real life," Darwish said during a session titled "Freedom and Dissent in Poetry".

Vietnamese poet Nguyen Hoang Bao Viet, on the other hand, said that while "freedom was a fragile concept, poetry had the power to unite the world".

"Poetry fully expresses freedom and human life. No poetry is without freedom or human life. Throughout our history, we have faced many wars. The Vietnamese poets have still emerged to be the witnesses to hope, dreams and adventure.

They also bear witness to reality. Vietnamese poets often disregard political system, and frequently write political poetry. We hope to warn the audience of the people who try to divide the country and the world," Viet said.

While agreeing that poetry was in crisis, Armenian poet Marine Petrossian also emphasised that we need to talk about it instead of choosing to stay quiet. "I do not believe that there is no need to talk about poetry.

I believe it is a bell which needs to be touched and rung to hear its sound. Its mere existence is not enough," she said.

The three-day poetry biennale is organised under the banner of Raza Utsav, the celebration of noted modern artist S H Raza's 97th birth anniversary.

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