FINDING MY VOICE- poetic resistance
As long as there has been politics, there have been creative attempts to satirise it. The creative arts have been mustered in the war of words that is political debate from the dawn of democracy in 5th century Athens with Aristophanes being a major example. In an age where many have repeatedly stated is plagued by political apathy, is there room for such creative satire?
Well to answer that question, I would have to first combat the suggestion of a politically apathetic age. As the massive surge of membership to the Labour Party has shown, many people have regained the courage or the passion to stand up for what they believe in and to oppose a government that is launching the deepest attack on the welfare state in a generation. And as the images of the student protests and the thousands who joined the March for the Alternative have showed, a wide section of society feel betrayed, aggrieved and are ready to vent their anger.
For the past year, I have been one of the many who have joined the Labour Party in order to join a fight against the cuts being dished out by the government that seems to care more about figures on a balance sheet than the people on the street. As part of this journey, I have started to write political poetry of my own , to show my feelings about the government’s actions and to also to give voice to those who I know who feel betrayed by those in Number 10. Many on twitter seem to like my artistic approach as they feel it gives voice to similar views they may hold, some like the extreme passion with which I write and some think it can get too passionate. I make no apology for the passion that is contained in them as I believe these are passionate times and as such the time for airing your views is very much upon us.
Finally I collected them altogether in an ebook called FINDING MY VOICE as literally over the past year, I have found my voice and I feel bold enough to speak out-
Here is an example of one of the poems contained within:
The bells of old Big Ben
The deceiver concocts his mysterious schemes to the bells of old Big Ben,
Bereft of free will, he crawls on his knees to the lord of number 10.
You can cover the cut with a bandage,
You can drug us to numb all the pain,
Yet the scar will remain from the cuts that you make with your lord in number 10.
Our goal to expose your traitorous words, to the bells of old BIG BEN
Political poetry serves a purpose as it is a good mechanism for displaying political messages or even facts in a colourful and memorable way. For instance, how many of you remember the words of a manifesto (ok, I guess you remember the Lib-Dem’s commitment to cut tuition fees), yet you probably remember the words “War is over if you want it,” from the John Lennon song Happy Christmas, a protest against the Vietnam War. Aristophanes used his plays to expose the corruption of the Athenian political system; in one play exposing the cities of the Athenian led Delian League as “as slaves grinding at a mill.” Political poetry is an ancient art, but one in my opinion that still has life left in it, especially in these times where the acts of governments are giving reasons to speak out and as we have seen with protests across the Arab world, many are prepared to die in order to resist. I challenge you to try it, I challenge you to find your voice as I have. You may just like it.