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Proposal for an Exploratory International Conference: Poetry-making and Policy-making (Part H)


Proposal for an Exploratory International Conference
2. Considerations of scope
3. Considerations of focus: vital distinctions
4. Practical steps
5. Comment

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Part H of Poetry-making and Policy-making: Arranging a Marriage between Beauty and the Beast (1993)

1. Preamble

In a period when the art of governance has proven distinctly inadequate to the challenges of the times, it is appropriate to explore radical new approaches which may offer new insights.

A significant number of policy-makers, including the current Director- General of UNESCO, are also poets. Heads of state from Jimmy Carter to Ho Chi Minh value expression of their insights in poetry. The unexplored question is whether there are new ways of integrating the cognitive approaches to poetry-making and policy-making. This could suggest new, and less alienating, approaches to policy-making -- which, hopefully, could be more appropriate to the complex challenge of the times.

Ironically it is in the classic traditions of China and Japan that poetry-making and policy-making are most intimately combined. The ability to write poetry was an attribute of the policy-makers of the time -- if not a requirement. In the Western tradition, poetry was an art practised by Roman Emperors.