[I]n America it’s only 22 people who run..who own.. 80 percent of the mass-media, so that the.. it would be very difficult for a poem … for a poet … to overcome that barrage of bullshit. On the other hand, poetry is the only place where you get an individual person telling his subjective truth, what he really thinks, as distinct from what he wants people to think he thinks, like a politician or someone preparing an editorial in a dignified newspaper. So if you need the historical truth of what people think inside, you have to follow Shelley (and his admonition is that poets are the “unacknowledged legislators of the race”) – or what William Carlos Williams said more acutely was, “The government is of words”. After all, the people making political speeches, they’re writing prose, if not poetry, and they’re trying to get a little flowery language in there, but the language is shifty, and the language is manipulative, and people who are advertising, or even doing ordinary mass-media, are still inhibited and can’t say what they really think, but the poet can say what he really thinks, authentically, and that’s the advantage, and it’s longer-lasting than the immediate radio-broadcast or television-broadcast, because a poem is like a radio that can broadcast continuously, for thousands of years. And so, in the long run, it may have an ameliorating effect on the spirit.This is just a taste.
Allen Ginsberg in a 1994 BBC interview. Wow! Remember: 17 years ago….
Filed under: and Tagged: Allen Ginsberg