Van Gogh. Robots. Buddhism and the Bible. In Mun Dok-su’s long poem, The Postman, these elements, and a variety more, weave together to form a searching narrative that addresses some of the largest questions of humanity. What is at the root of war, terror, and destruction? How does one hold on to one’s humanity in the face of modern warfare and technology? As a postman delivers news to the door, Mun Dok-su delivers answers to his reader. At 82 years old, the poet has given the world his landmark work—an epic poem that exudes fire and fearlessness.
walk long enough
with a pebble in your shoe
and walking with a pebble becomes
The day Obama decided enough was enough
and turned off his TV and slept well for the first time since 2007,
and Nancy Pelosi decided enough was enough
on a weekend in Vermont, when she threw
the Times and the Post into the woodstove unread,
and Congress decided enough was enough
staring into the mirrors of their sleeping consciences:
They began by ordering all the troops home.
Seconds before I appeared on Al-Jazeera International Sunday night, the producer informed me that South Korea, despite pleas from both Russia and China to cancel the live fire artillery drills, had in fact started the exercises. Having been to North Korea several times, and knowing how their worldview centers on the right to defend their sovereignty, I feared the worst.
Cultures of War should be mandatory reading in our military academies and in government.
Back in the 1960s, peace activists sported a bumper sticker that read: “War is not good for children and other living creatures.” In a way, that sums up Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel’s War and Public Health, where 46 experts on everything from epidemiology to international law weigh in on the authors’ central premise: “War and militarism have catastrophic effects on human health and well being.”
Nearly 50 years after a military-led coup overthrew Burma’s last democratically elected government, the Southeast Asian country has suffered some of the world’s most egregious human rights abuses. For activists, Burma has become synonymous with institutionalized rape, torture, forced labor, and ethnic cleansing. In the popular imagination, however, the enormity of Burma’s crisis remains obscured by indifference and the overshadowing presence of disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur.
How might the changing political relationship between Cuba and the United States influence Cuban-American literature?
Reminiscent of the political problems in Afghanistan that have plagued the Obama White House, on Monday Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi vetoed a set of amendments to Iraq’s election law approved by the Iraqi parliament. The veto may lead to a delay of the Iraqi elections, currently scheduled for January 21, 2010, and could trigger a debate over U.S. plans to withdraw from Iraq.
When I was torn by war I took a brush Immersed in death And drew a window On war’s wall I opened it Searching For something But I saw another war And a mother Weaving a shroud For the dead man Still in her womb Baghdad, 1990