May 19, 2007
To the graduates, their families, the faculty and staff of Hampshire College: Congratulations. I would particularly like to salute the Baldwin Scholars graduating today. James Baldwin delivered the commencement address here at Hampshire twenty-one years ago. That day, he said: â€œThe reality in which we live is a reality we have made, and itâ€™s time, my children, to begin the act of creation all over again.â€
In that spirit, I welcome you to the Republic of Poetry. The Republic of Poetry is a state of mind. It is a place where creativity meets community, where the imagination serves humanity. The Republic of Poetry is a republic of justice, because the practice of justice is the highest form of human expression. This goes beyond the tired idea of â€œpoetic justice,â€ because all justice is poetic.
You can find the rest of the speech at Sarah Browning’s blog