Poetics in DC?

Amidst all the name-calling, mud-slinging and back-stabbing in the nation’s capital, there is a voice for something different, and a lot of people are listening.  Huck Gutman, chief-of-staff for US Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent, VT) distributes poetry by e-mail to 1,700 readers, including all the US Senate chiefs-of-staff, White House Staffers and others.

Photo by Caleb Kenna for The Boston Globe

Gutman says the poetry and his attached commentary are provided “for the noncombatant pursuits of intellectual pleasure and personal enrichment.”

I’m not so sure it will help restore civility to government, but hey, you never know. Maybe Huck Gutman is on to something.

Follow this link to read about Huck Gutman’s refreshing departure from Washington “business as usual.”

A Poetic Respite from Politics

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8 Responses to Poetics in DC?

  1. A voice in the wilderness… but what a courageous, cultured way to reach out and attempt to connect. Let’s appeal to our best instincts. I like this. Good for Huck.

    • PattiKen says:

      I agree, Mary. I find myself wondering if the 1,700 people he sends the poetry to actively asked to be put on his distribution list. If they did, that would really give me hope.

  2. mairmusic says:

    Love to think of poetry in the midst of such bickering– thanks so much for the news!

  3. What a light amidst the clouds… Years ago, when I lived in England, I went to London for a week. They had just started a new program on the underground, putting lines of poetry in the inside of each passenger train and along the waiting platforms. It was simple, beautiful, thought-provoking stuff that anyone coulld enjoy, whether they read poetry or not. I don’t know if this was their intention or not, but they noted a reduction in underground crime after the poetry was posted. People talked about the poems. They began to share ideas. What a great thing poetry can be, and this Mr Gutmann obviously understands and respects its power to lift energy and encourage deeper thoughts.

    • PattiKen says:

      I agree, bpw. For ten years, NYC MTA followed London’s lead and poetry appeared in the New York subways, sponsored by the Poetry Society of America and underwritten by Barnes & Nobel. Sadly, I think the project ended a few years ago. You can read more about it here: http://www.mta.info/mta/pim/index.html

      There’s a wonderful little book called Poetry in Motion still available. It has all the poems in it, I think.

  4. Jamie Dedes says:

    It couldn’t hurt.

    What’s the price to the taxpayer?

  5. Patti says:

    Something in Washington with no cost to the taxpayers? I hope they don’t discover that. they’d probably put a stop to it.

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