Couplets: “The Human Wall”

Because no one will pay to build His WALL-- Not Mexico, not Congress, not even the Wall Street Journal or Faux News, not anyone-- The PRESIDENT will send soldiers with guns To make sure Mexico does not invade. Nat. Guard will guard the desert (without shade) As long as Trump proclaims that they will stand On…

To Honor Poetry on World Poetry Day, Help Imprisoned Poets Across the Globe

By John Frederick Kaufman PEN International is profiling four poets on World Poetry Day now being held either in prisons or under house arrest for dissenting against injustice through art and/or journalism: Aron Atabek of Kzakhstan, Liu Xia of China, Amanuel Asrat of Eitrea, Dareen Tatour detained by Israel. To see what you can do…

Robinson Jeffers: “Be Angry at the Sun”

[JFK: Here's a poetic perspective on politics some may call cynical, some may say stoic. Jeffers referred to his philosophical distance from people as "inhumanism." This should not, however, be confused with inhumane-ism. Jeffers built a house of stone in Carmel, CA overlooking the Pacific in the days before Carmel was a haven for wealth…

Poem: “Death of a Journalist”

By John Frederick Kaufman Sick of screens that blind with light, I'll sing myself to sleep and let all facts arrive to you undeniably as night. I watch the snow fall silently and do not care to count. I don't want to tell you anymore what it all amounts to.

The New Liberal Spirit of Poetry

By John Frederick Kaufman For most of the 20th Century, the biggest political battle in the world of poets and poetry revolved around questions of craft: modernism vs. formalism, free verse vs. meter and rhyme. Sure, a few socially-oriented poets protested against our various wars and marched/wrote for civil rights for minorities while other, more academically-inclined…

The “Human Rights Poetry” of Yevgeny Yevtushenko Very Relevant Today

By John Frederick Kaufman Speaking of his poetry, here's what Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who died yesterday in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of 84, told the Associated Press in an interview back  in 2007: "I don't call it political poetry, I call it human rights poetry; the poetry which defends human conscience as the…

“Is public virtue dead?”: Shelley’s “Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things”

  By John Frederick Kaufman What better poem to turn to than one recently discovered in England, a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1811 when he was just 18 and a student at Oxford University. No copy of the poem existed in the public realm until this month, when Oxford's Bodleian Library made it available online. The…

Poem for the International Day of Peace

"International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by resolution 36/37, the United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Furthering the Day’s mission, the General Assembly voted…