What constitutes a good poetry of protest?
Protest poetry, or more aptly, poetry of protest has a philosophical commitment to translate numinous energies manifested in acts of intense personal perception to social area of experience. It is a record of the dialectic of struggle signified by its cultural context–an alternative vantage point that is against the flow of the mainstream. It must, however, be situated to show that people operate in a certain space and under certain identifiable human conditions, e.i. problems of oppression and injustice, contradictions and conflicts, power relations, men as pitted against each other, or as dominant and dominated by others, exclusivity and the sense of otherness.
As Kenneth Burke suggests, a poem of protest could provide, new insights by a ‘violation of proprieties.’ although its structure is not limited to this. The relationship between the dominant and dominated is so conflictual, the discourse could range from persuasive to totally hysterical. Examples could be: irony utilized as a way of creating exclusionary communities; punctuations of historical personages, prominent or not, to hint the resonance of tension and complexity; jejemon-esque composition as an appropriative act towards the homogeneous language-English being representational of the privileged.Of course this is a matter of discursive strategies technique, or appropriation in general through the use of unfamiliar imagery, allusions, rhythms and structure that is so dissimilar from that of the origin.
More than an aesthetic creation, poetry becomes more significant when it is communicated to represent and illuminate concrete issues of living. On the final note, if one begs to question what constitutes a good poetry of protest? As long as the text, if heard, could spark new areas of critical inquiry with the notion of making a deal to do something to wrestle ethical ideals by the social forces represented, this mode of protest is said successful in its goal.
Ysh Cabana © Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved