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Ginger Paque September 09, 2017

I appreciate this piece very much, especially for the unexpected juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible worlds. You point this out when you acknowledge ' ... poetry and diplomacy differ with regard to function, flexibility, and creativity ... ' even more than in the obvious 'worlds apart'. But it strikes me is that poetry is often a catalyst for thought and change, while diplomacy seeks to manage existing situations for optimal advantage. Perhaps that's just how I interpret the ambiguous facets of each. I agree with your conclusion, that poetry can help diplomacy, and your specific points convinced me. Yet how dangerous is the possibility for poetic ambiguity to feed on existing distrust if those coming to the table are so predisposed? Might poetry act as a magnifying glass?

biscott@diploma... September 11, 2017

I agree, Ginger, there is a complementary distribution of labour between the poet's brinkmanship and the diplomat's consolidation. In the recent film Dunkirk, the toneless (re)reading of Churchill's famous speech "we shall fight them on the beaches" is a good example of poetic voice, whereas the words as usually read - with conviction - would be the diplomatic voice. A clever reversal as an envoi to the film! The bias against ambiguity as a form of manipulation is growing alas - part of 'our' distrust of experts. I am intrigued by your metaphor of poetry as a magnifying glass - please tell me more!

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