So you may know I’ve been reading anthologies of political, protest and resistance poetry, both new and old. As I’ve done this, I’ve been sharing excerpts of particularly prescient or arresting lines to my friends on Facebook. So that got me beginning my own catalog of poems about dictatorships and lawless regimes. As I continue, I'll keep updating it. Check out Poems About Dictators.
It includes excerpts from poems like this amazing one by Czeslaw Milosz: “Child of Europe.”
I also read a good piece on Leftist Orthodoxy and Social Justice from Medium by an activist named Heartscape and it contained a rewrite of a poem called "If I can't dance, It's not my revolution" by Emma Goldman. It's an extension of the article which is about inclusiveness, creativity and intolerance within a political movement, not a heavily figurative poem but the kind of poem that clearly communicates frustration within a group of opinionated activists.
If I can’t fuck up and learn from my mistakes, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t disagree with you, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t ask questions, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t decide for myself what tactics I will use, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t be femme, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t choose my own friends, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t bring my family, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t bring my culture, then it’s not my revolution.
If I can’t bring my ancestors, then it’s not my revolution.
And if it’s not our revolution, then let’s build a new one.
Poet Amy King also recently helped organize a project of poets writing poems inspired by the Statue of Liberty and Emma Lazarus' poem. This became a controversy recently when the White House senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller, disparaged the poem as not containing foundational ideas about America.
Read the resulting poems collected by The Guardian.
More Political Poetry News
Why All Poems Are Political (Electric Literature)
Poet for the Age of Brexit, Revisiting the work of A. E. Housman (The Atlantic)
Today, in the age of Brexit and the renewed movement for Scottish independence, the question of what Englishness means is once again up for debate.
Punk Poet Eileen Myles on Combating Trump, Capitalism With Art (Rolling Stone)
With a new generation of fans from Twitter and 'Transparent,' the legendary artist is basking in latest literary renaissance
Celebrities Reveal Their Immigrant Stories In 6 Powerful Words (Huffington Post)
And this is not sstrictly political but something cool to check out: y cousin sent me this link for African American poets from the Appalachian area: http://www.theaffrilachianpoets.com/
Also big in poetry news, (although not a protest poet), poet John Ashbery has died. Read his obit in The New York Times.