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Crazy Kings and Rising Waters: An Evening with John Burnside
April 26, 2018, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM BST
In his lecture entitled ‘Where the executive would never want to tamper?’ Burnside develops his poetological ideas in response to – and disgreeing with – the famous line by W.H. Auden “Poetry makes nothing happen”. For Burnside poetry is an essential part of being human. It teaches us to use all of our abilities equally and leads to a more comprehensive understanding of things. In this sense, it is also a political instrument which is desperately necessary in a time when “a crazy king is sitting in the palace and the waters are rising all around us”. Burnside firmly rejects the rising tide of nationalism and xenophobia; at the same time, the lecture is a powerful plea for poetry as a practical form of responsible thought and action.