Writing is an emotional process and it works when it makes us feel, both as writers and readers. Yet a certain emotional distance is necessary when one writes poetry with the language of oppression, especially when one has been the victim, and offers a historical testimony. What kind of liberties can one take with the material? What constitutes appropriate artistic utterance when one navigate the territories of poetry about the hard truths? Rescuing words from screams of pain and anger into poetic expression, which shows the effect of oppression on the inner landscape of feeling, is what poetry offers as an art.
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