My plan had been to do a politically oriented post following the inauguration speech delivered by the President on Monday. I found myself hoping that perhaps we have turned a corner in our country and will see an era emerge that is more conducive to the common good. Instead of politics, however, poetry has won the day. I just read an article by Chris Hedges, “A Time for Sublime Madness” which illustrates the importance of poetry and the other arts. Hedges gives reference to Reinhold Niebuhr who spoke of "a sublime madness within the soul" that can defy forces of repression.
It is my belief that poets are not just making nice words, playing intriguing word games, or doing linguistic tricks. The poet is the modern day shaman who enters into that divine realm, "sublime madness" if you will, to communicate to the rest how to make meaning of life, even if that meaning appears to be simple endurance. This is true of artists from other disciplines as well. We find grace and strength in music, poetry, the performing arts, as well as the visual arts. Hedges' article speaks to how the arts can help us to use our imaginations to achieve transcendence in dark times to "retain the power of the sacred."
You can read Hedges article here.