Check-out the second post of Others Letters, the web archive I started last month, which consists of an exquisite 5-page letter composed by David Brazil in response to correspondence with Alli Warren regarding poetry and social/political engagement:
my question/concern for you, david, is a selfish one
lately i have been unable to write because i am unsure of poetry's significance outside of the "community" and i want what i spend my time doing to be socially/politically engaged.
why do i spend so much of my physical, mental and emotional energy on poetry, when it often seems that this energy would be better spent directly engaging the issues poetry talks about/around? is my engagement in poetry a sign of cynicism and escapism? am i running on bad faith?
so i guess my question for you, david, is how do you deal with these questions on your end? how do you think of poetry's capacity to reach people besides poets and to maybe try to do something in the world?
--Alli Warren to David Brazil