21st Medellin Poetry Festival, directors of 37 Poetry Festivals
worldwide discussed the relationship between poetry and peace
and reconstruction of the human spirit, nature reconciliation
and recovery, unity and cultural diversity of the peoples,
material misery and poetic justice, and actions to take towards
the globalization of poetry."
I, from my Indian background still don't
understand it very well. Can poetry change the world, or at
least the hearts of a few people? Did we ever use word power
against any type of crime in modern times (especially in India)?
Isn't it true that very often the wrong words used
indiscriminately are the root cause of most of the problems we
encounter? Is it possible that the right words spoken in the
right manner at the opportune moment bring about positive
Can we create at least peace through
poetry, though we have a number of spiritual poets in different
languages? The poetry is used as prayers in our society, but are
we able to bring peace through poems? Forget about unity, we
poets do not have unity in our country; we talk about our
different ideologies, but never try to search for and identify a
common thread linking all the ideologies. We have cultural
diversity, which is the most beautiful thing in the world, but
do we have unity? Globalization for us means money or blind
technology. Can we change this attitude through poetry....?
Is it possible...?
Is it impossible ....?
It is possible; just take the example of
Medellin. The city which was called the most dangerous city in
the world for a long time ... the city, which still carries the
embers of those bad days in her heart .... The city which is
still struggling with a number of issues, welcomes the poetry
from all around the world with an open heart.
How come thousands and thousands of people
gather in an open ground and enjoy poetry? Because of fear? Yes,
that was what Fernando Rendon, Director Festival International
de Poesia de Medellin (Colombia) acknowledged. When I asked
him, how he could believe in poetry, even when his city was
passing through such bad times, he replied-I was afraid, I was
afraid of cruelty, unkindness and darkness of the heart. Poetry
was the sacred sanctum for me and other poetry lovers like me.
We were not allowed to go out in the evenings, we were very much
afraid, and then to fight against the all consuming fear, we
started poetry reading in public places - where people could
come out from the grip of fear and interact with each other.
I read the words from history, where
Fernando Rendon says-