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Afghanistan

Six years ago, it all seemed so clear. I was against the Iraq invasion, and so were many (most?) American, Canadian, British, Irish, and Australian poets, from what I could tell. Anthologies, poems, events, and marches, ensued. The invasion happened anyway. The revolution was e-booked. Now, Western forces are dying daily, in relatively high numbers, and the public is beginning to ask questions. I'm a member of that public, not above it, and am asking the questions too. I tend to adore Barack Obama - he is so effortlessly stylish, apparently decent, and, within reason, left-leaning for an American leader - but he has made this campaign in Afghanistan his own. Curiously, there's been little poetic response to this war against the Taliban in the "Af-Pak" region, either from the soldiers on the ground, or the people back home who are sending them there, or underwriting their deaths with their support. What do the poets think about this? Does that matter? What is to be done? I am currently - and no doubt unwisely - on the fence about this, unable to yet make up my mind. For Eyewear, that may be a sign of maturation.

Comments

Sarah Hymas said…
I'm wondering now, you mention it, why we haven't had much exposure to Afghani or Iraqi poems written in the past few years. Certainly not, at least in the mags I subscribe to. It also seems ideal territory for broadsheets like The Guardian to cover.

Both regions have rich poetic traditions and must be producing work about the invasions. Why aren't I reading it?

With my poet hat on (rather than reader hat)I don't write about it cos it's just too flipping big for my head/spirit to translate into anything beyond naff cliche - or at least right now. I can't see the bullets for the bombs.

But then, back to being reader, there are many astutely brilliant and politially conscious poets in this country (not including Pinter) I'd love to know where they're writing.
Alan Baker said…
A quote from Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan: 'our troops are dying to protect a government of corrupt warlords and heroin dealers, in the interests of the right of US companies to build oil and gas pipelines over Afghanistan from Central Asia.'

Looks like Afghanistan is shaping up to be to Obama what Iraq was to Tony Blair.
Sarah Hymas said…
seen the review section in the guardian today?
:)

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