Matthew Dickman reading at The San Francisco Zen Center

Here is a video of Matthew Dickman reading at the San Francisco Zen Center.  You may love his poetry or hate it, but you must at least take an interest in what he says about the nature of poetry.  He says:

“I don’t know a lot about Buddhism, but I also don’t know a lot about poetry.  But something I think that they have in common is that in their nature, I think they’re radical.  And I think they’re radical because in our society, they support and dignify things like compassion and humanity, a looking inward toward the self and sharing the best of ourselves.  I think it’s a very special thing that the two are being combined this evening.”

Most wouldn’t identify poetry as radical, but any serious student of literature, and poetry in particular, realizes that it is indeed a radical form of art, especially against the backdrop of contemporary United States culture.  In poetry, the recognition and love of humanness in another is examined and ultimately, hopefully, glorified.  In a better world, this would not be a radical act, but in a country fighting distant wars, populated largely by less-than-active consumers, and that focuses nearly all its attention on external entertainment, poetry and all that it seeks to accomplish becomes extremely radical.  Ultimately, the radical nature of poetry is what makes it so valuable as a tool for social and personal awakening.

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6 Responses to Matthew Dickman reading at The San Francisco Zen Center

  1. Debbie says:

    I never really gave much attention to poetry but what he said about the nature of poetry peaked my interest and so I watched the video. I’m glad I did. :)

  2. Cody says:

    I’m glad you got something out of it. This video doesn’t showcase his absolute best work, but his comments on poetry are really worth a listen.

  3. Wow! That was amazing. I love his poetry. Thank you so much for sharing this and leaving this link on Christian Mahai’s blog where I could find it. I’ll be sharing this with my friends on FB, and buying some of his books. And reading more of your posts–sounds like you have a treasure here of some really good stuff.

    • Cody says:

      In my experience, people either love Matthew Dickman or don’t really appreciate his work at all. I’m glad you’re one of the former. Thanks for reading.

  4. Pingback: Wild Poet Talking Nerdy, Matthew Dickman « Living on the Edge of the Wild

  5. Pingback: Celebrating Poetry: Blown Away By Matthew Dickman | Deborah J. Brasket, Writer

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