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Saturday, October 2, 2010

John F. Kennedy

"When power narrows the area of man' concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence."

American President/Writer
1917 - 1963

This is a fascinating quote from one of the most powerful and famous people in the 20th century.  The wielding of power narrows one's focus.  We usually think the reverse of people with power.  They can do anything they want.  But Kennedy is saying that power actually limits what you focus on — what you are engaged in.   Poetry, for Kennedy, served the purpose of broadening his focus and open up new worlds of understanding.  And I think art, music, and novels do that as well.  Our jobs tend to keep us focused on a narrow group of topics.  Reading books, listening to music and observing art can carry us out of ourselves to other worlds.