The Saturday Creativity Quote — a poet speaks

Bitterroot Winter, oil on panel by Rachel Warner (collection of the author)

For today’s quote, I turn to the US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, who was speaking about the lessons, rituals, and gifts of the pandemic year, but I think her wisdom apt as we begin the new year and renew our commitment as creative people to the work with all its gifts and challenges.

“Poetry can hold contradictions, can hold grief that’s too heavy to bear, can hold questions, usually by asking more questions. I don’t know that poetry answers anything, but it certainly makes a place for the unanswerable to live in a way that can be even beautiful and satisfactory.

“I’ve always seen poets as truth tellers. We have an obligation to speak of what we see. Even if the truth is difficult to bear for others or for us, it’s important. That’s why you always see poets at the forefront or somewhere near any social rights, social justice movement. You’ll find the poet speaking out because that’s what that’s part of the charge of being a poet.”

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