February 11, 2016

18° Fair

Poets hold readings for peace

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate Richard Taylor opened Wednesday evening’s “Poets for Peace” gathering at the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe with excerpts of a new essay by renowned Kentucky author Wendell Berry.

Berry’s essay, running as a full-page ad in The New York Times, is titled “A Citizen’s Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America.” It’s also the cover story in the upcoming issue of Orion magazine.

“It’s one of the most rational pieces I’ve seen written by our friend and neighbor to the north,” said Taylor, speaking to a crowd of about 75.

Berry, a Henry County farmer and author of more than 30 books, attends the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort each November. Taylor chose to read concluding parts of the new essay.

Speaking of past wars, “at the end of the war, if we have won it, we declare peace,” Taylor read. “We congratulate ourselves on our victory. We marvel at the newly proved efficiency of our latest weapons. We ignore the cost in lives, materials and property, in suffering and disease, in damage to the natural world. We ignore the inevitable residue of resentment and hatred, and we go on and on as before, having, as we think, successfully defended our way of life.”

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