In a country that does not seem to have it all together right now, we need to put our faith in the right places. In ourselves, but also in poets and in politicians. Our life is built around constant animosity and is mostly fueled by two sides, usually black or white. Poets and politicians provide us with one of the highest levels of polar opposition. Poets express themselves with passive, alluring rhetoric; politicians express themselves with active, callous language. Yet, their polar differences rely on one another; yet they both express themselves to the public, they pour their soul out when most of us are afraid to do so. The understanding of this relationship is something that we have lost over many decades. So here I am, trying to gain the symbiosis back.
“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.” John F. Kennedy
As I hope many of us know, diversity and adversity are two of the many things we require to survive. If we lived in a world of one gender, and one race, and one frame of mind, we would not prosper past our current generation. If we lived in a world where all was good all the time, any hardship would demolish the entire population. The same can be said for poetry and politics. Without the beauty of words flowing from the talented who can unequivocally express their feelings, we would be living in a world of war-style words. Without the gritty speeches flowing from the thinkers who fight their way to their success, we would be living in a world of leaderless nations. So let language and politics cross. Find strength in quotes, find poetic connections to the government so that we can create a country where politicians and poets are connected, just like JFK wanted.
“No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” Booker T. Washington
If I could rewrite this today I would say that ‘no race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity in running a government as there is in writing a poem and as there is in tilling a field.’ We have all gotten lost in our ideas and our beliefs, that we do not take into account that the people around us are just people too. Whether they are running a country, sitting on the Senate, doing research, writing a poem, collecting unemployment, or tilling a field; we are all human beings, we are all deserving. We have to put faith in those who express themselves publicly; whether it be a crass speech or a flowing verse, we need to listen. Though we may disagree, we must listen. Use what others say as a starting point for conversation, and let the thoughts and ideas flow. These people are stepping out to say what they believe in, so embrace that, idolize that, understand that, and talk about that.
“Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians.” Muhammad Iqbal
It’s up to us to believe in all sides of a situation, and it’s up to us to hold true the values in which our nation was born upon. We shall encourage politicians to let our nation prosper, and we should prevent them from letting it die. We should listen to politicians so we know which side of the coin they are going to land on, prosperity or demise; we should listen to poets so we can view the world in a different way. We should enlighten ourselves in all academic fields so we can know injustice, so we can know sacrifices, so we can know who is on our side, so we can enlighten others who may not see the world the way we do.
Do not let the state of the country get you down. Find solace in the words of poets. Find solace in the words of politicians. Listen to the people who are willing to talk to the entire nation, and use that to gain your voice too.