I have three poems for you from the Favorite Poem Project, which was established by Robert Pinsky when he was the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. In 2001, I was one of fifty educators who participated in The First Annual Summer Poetry Institute at Boston University. The institute was a collaboration between the Favorite Poem Project and the BU School of Education. The project produced poetry books and videos–which we participants watched and discussed.
I’m posting three of my favorite Favorite Poem Project videos today. In the videos, average Americans read/recite their favorite poems and talk about the poems connections to their lives. I selected Politics by William Butler Yeats, Facing It by Yusef Komunyakaa, and Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen—poems about politics, war, and the Vietnam War Memorial.
Edited to Add:
Maybe some of you remember how, in early 2003, poets had planned to speak out against the United States getting involved in a pre-emptive war in Iraq.
From Democracy Now (February 7, 2003)
First Lady Laura Bush Cancels Poetry Gathering Fearing Anti-War Poems: Democracy Now! Hosts Its Own Poetry Slam with Def Poetry Jam Stars Staceyann Chin, Suheir Hammad and Steve Colman
“First Lady Laura Bush has canceled a White House symposium on poetry because she feared the invited poets would recite poetry against war.”