Did Aimé Césaire (1913-2008) and Grace Paley (1922-2007) ever meet? Both wrote poetry to speak for the powerless.
"Ma bouche sera la bouche des malheurs qui n'ont point de bouche, ma voix, la liberté de celles qui s'affaissent au cachot du désespoir," wrote Aimé Césaire in Cahiers du Retour au Pays Natal (1939, 1947).
"It is the poet's responsibility to speak truth to power as the/ Quakers say/ It is the poet's responsibility to learn the truth from the/ powerless," wrote Grace Paley in "Responsibility" (New and Collected Poems, 1992).
Listen to Grace Paley and read the poem "Responsibility"
Listen to Aimé Césaire (homage on France Culture Radio station, June 14, 2008)
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