On Poetry

Bahar Orang


Gramsci said, Every human being is a Poet.

Every human being is a reader of Poetry. Or is Every human

being a buyer of poetry? Every human being is a Consumer.

Do poets have the right to exist? Are poets autonomous artists?

Can poets own guns?

Can poets fight back?

Can poets make money?

Can poets own property?

Can poets eat their radishes with butter, their beans with whole onion,
their books without any predetermined touchstone?

Can poets inherit wealth from their parents?

Can poets join the military?

Are poems lifeless objects?

Every Poet is a human being. Can poets form a cultural front?

Can poets be mothers?

Can poets grieve?

Every Poet is a grieving human being.

Can poems be newspapers? Can poets own newspapers?

Can poets have political tendencies? What do poets mean by rigour

Can poets be miners? Can a poet hold an MFA? Can poets remain disemployed?

Can poets understand what is meant by the means of production, by class struggle
by precarity , by jargon, by surrender, by the end of politics

Can poets see to it that the world collapses? Can poets pay back their debts?

Can poets look askance at each other? Can poets write in the register of pity—
and love the degraded world. Every human is being grieved in every poem.

Can poets collect human detritus? Can poets take a picture of it, what is washed up
______against the

barricade, that an old woman still has nightmares.

Can poets experience loss? Can poets eat sparrows?

Can poets write at the altar of deliberation,

studying where their words go,
as though everything is at stake.


Bahar Orang is a writer living in Toronto. Her first book, Where Things Touch: A Meditation On Beauty (Book*hug Press, 2020), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and was named a best book of the year by CBC and NPR.

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