Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Poetry for Human Rights

Poetry can convey indignities and dignities in ways that resonate more quickly and poignantly than prose.  Poetry by the young can be particularly powerful and evocative. 

Last year Universal Human Rights Student Network held a poetry contest for poets of any age.  The theme was "refugees".  The top ten poems may be read here and the e-book of poetry may be read here.

And much Human Rights poetry focuses on Human Rights at Home.

Youth for Human Rights promotes poetry by young authors through a contest for those under 18. This contest has a December deadline.

Power Poetry has a contest for those who are 25 years or younger, America the Great?!, Poetry Slam.  The current theme is 'my country'.  Contestants may post directly to the website with a deadline of May 10.  One entry titled "The Crayon Box" by Lancer Dave begins:

                We were born as numbers, and disguised with names.

                Statistics to the system, is God the one to blame. Born where

                freedoms are equal, and where equals aren't the same.


Poetry Soup has a collection of Human Rights Poems some famous, some not.  One by the late Edward Dorn, Heart of Copper, is particularly relevant from the Human Rights at Home perspective:

                                The Candidate, answering a question

                                about El Salvador, generalized

                                by saying he thought

                                we should support human rights

                                everywhere they were being abrogated--

                                South Korea, South Africa

                                or South Yemen. 

                                He didn't have

                                the moral perspicuity

                                to mention South Dakota.

                                Perhaps it's too far north.

Books and articles, Margaret Drew | Permalink


Post a comment