How does the poet’s sense of responsibility to history and community interact with personal vision? What does poetry tell us that the history books can’t? Panelists discuss the poet’s engagement with history as witness, explorer, archivist and participant.
"What truths––based on intuition, craftsmanship and experience––does poetry teach about the world? Diane Ackerman explores the act of artistic creation and the sensibility of the poet, revealing how poets problem-solve to create works of art."
How do poets find symbolic forms for ideas? How might a poet contrast the Platonic triad––the Good, the True and the Beautiful––with the Christian Trinity? How might a poet describe in fourteen lines the corruption of the world? To address these questions, Helen Vendler revisits one of the greats.
All art forms serve both to express and to transgress cultural values––to articulate and to challenge the ideas that shape a society. Panelists discuss the special role that poetry plays in the development of literacy, the formation and preservation of the democratic ideal, and the give and take of public dialogue in an electronic and media-saturated age.