Language is a monstrous force capable of rallying, by rhetoric, the sentiments necessary for nationalist calls to violence–such as the crusades inaugurated by Pope Urban II, or a pogrom of Dominicans against Haitians in the Caribbean in 2015. Controls on language are controls on thought, a violence predicated by fear of the word’s inherent violence. This is the difference between the political left and the right wing: the left uses political correctness–the controls and suppression of language, making it dull, paralyzed by fear of its capacity for destruction. But the right wing is carelessly loving the violence in language and rhetoric, always wanting to unleash it, to pull the saber and rifle. Both manipulations meet in irony and the wedding of farce. Farce is the end of humor, when no one can tell what is unimportant from what is important.

Poetry is the mastery and defiance of language. Poetry inverts and transforms the enemy language, lifts it from its growth within death. The poet is the enemy of both the rhetoricians and the monkish, priestly modifiers.


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