Monday, June 4, 2007

Poetry, Torture, Truth

"Torture erupts out of a utilitarian or technocratic sense of efficiency. It provides the illusion of certainty favored by totalitarian regimes, typically yielding information less reliable than government propaganda. It also exposes as superficial the courage of leaders who rationalize its breach of human dignity as necessary for safeguarding people's lives and their freedoms, their democratic values and prosperity. It deceives those who practice it and dehumanizes all involved."

This from a profoundly insightful essay, "A Winter Sun: Writing Against Torture," by poet, essayist, novelist, teacher, and Neruda translator William O'Daly. The essay appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of Poets Against War Newsletter.