“I was a child in the world of the powerful. / I was frightened of oysters and looked at guardsmen distrustfully. / I am not bound to it by even the tiniest fragment of my soul.” 
(Osip Mandelstam)

Because it allows us to hide what we think in cryptic metaphors, poetry is one of the arts that can face up to dictatorship. But how does poetry do in a democracy? Can it effectuate change? Could poetry express that which the headlines don’t?


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