What Matters Most: the Poet or the Poem?

I am indeed grateful to the upcoming 100 Thousand Poets for Change event in Rome next 27th September. Yesterday evening at a group meeting with the organizer of the event, John and I had the chance to meet a group of young poets known as MEP (Movimento per l'Emancipazione Poesia)--that is Poetry Emancipation Movement--whose aim is to billpost poems around town but without divulging the poets' names. Each of them signs his/her poems with his initial and a number that identifies them. You may check their website here to see how they work.

Their message is pretty clear: they want to bring poetry to the street so that anyone may read it but they choose to have their poems speak for them. No voice, no face and no name is attached to the poem. This form of billposting is unauthorized, so there is a strong element of protest that comes with their activity.

I am totally in love with this idea. And yet, I had to question my poetry Weltanschaunung. Does it really matter if people know who the poet is? What matters most: the Poet or the Poem? I probably won't come up with a definite answer anytime soon, but, I think the poem is what "will last." I asked my son what he thought about the issue and he told me he believes that the poem matters most, but he also added, don't forget it takes a poet to write a poem. How true!

P.S. I have decided to read some of the MEP aithors' poems at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event. I genuinely like their ideas. I am more than happy to lend them my voice. Poetry is not about ego, after all.


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