Words Can Never Be Imprisoned

When I was struggling to make sense of the real purpose of poets, beyond the poetry producing factories, my sick lover asked me to recite my poems to him. My reflex response was “what for?”, to which he replied that it would help him heal faster.

Maybe all the beautiful poems of the world – beautiful in their vulgar sense, but beautiful nonetheless – can come together to save us from killing each other. After all, many decades ago, people in Vietnam had written poetry on little pieces of paper and put them in the pockets of the soldiers who went to war, hoping that those little pieces of paper would act as love letters or messages of peace for the enemy and might save them.

Poems that would not be only gestures towards justice but trickledown revolutions, sprouting from the graveyards of murdered languages and erased histories, to take down the palaces of fascists.

That do not ask for moral purity but lead their readers to see the uncomplicated clarity and the warped logic of ways in which our world is increasingly becoming hostile to its own people.

That turn our attention to the hideous yet exquisite art of corporate philanthropy and help to expose the ghost of capitalism and its hauntology.

That do not merely propose a peaceful post-mortem process to dissect nationalism and anti-nationalism but issue street songs and anthems to resurrect the muffled voices of dissent.

That enthusiastically reintroduce the enthralling history of our indigenous people, for its teachings on the militant aspirations of resistance, which must occupy the contemporary memory once again.

That make it clear, even if the poets writing them continue to be locked up in jails, they cannot be arrested. Words can never be imprisoned.

Aaditya Pandey is a student of Journalism in Delhi. He reads a lot on politics, culture and art, and thus, consequently, attempts to write sometimes.

Featured image credit: 愚木混株 Cdd20/Pixabay