“The men (and women) who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness," said President Kennedy in a 1963 tribute to poet Robert Frost. "But, the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable. For they determine whether we use power or power uses us. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
As the COVID19 crisis continues, the only thing we know for sure is this: If we're honest with ourselves, we know this country—this world—is never "getting back to normal." What-Was is just that. More than 308,000 deaths worldwide, as this show airs—88,250 (and counting) in the United States alone—ought to tell us that.
Whatever the challenges and opportunities ahead, dare we dream a world better, more equitable, responsible and respectful than the old one? What indispensable questions must we contribute? What "poetry" will cleanse this space?
This week on the show: #WordsMatter featuring these human rights activists, artists, and political leaders in order of being heard:
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