Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

Reverberations from Fukushima: 50 Japanese Poets Speak Out

Reverberations from Fukushima: 50 Japanese Poets Speak Out - Leah Stenson, Asao Sarukawa Aroldi Let me start by saying that I'm not on board with the anti-nuclear movement. That is, I believe there is a responsible way to do nuclear power.

But all those concerned with this debate, no matter what side they're on, should read this collection of poems (or something like it, but this is a great place to start). The human suffering and damage to nature caused by the Fukushima disaster do not get enough press. One of the introductory essays asks why the entire conversation is about politics and technicalities. It's true that politics and technology were important in the disaster. But the voices of the Japanese people affected by this disaster and the people who speak for the powerless victims of all bad environmental and health policies should always be heard.

So I would not say that you have to agree with the the anti-nuclear movement to get something out of this collection. Read it. It's an amazing collection of poetry. It's important and beautiful and rageful. We pre-select what we read too much, choosing to only read authors we already agree with. Anyone who ever discusses nuclear power should read this book and hold these voices in their hearts, so they are never left out of the conversation. Yes, the numbers are important. There are many considerations. But these are Important. Of Utmost Importance.

And there are historical considerations, too. The poems are full of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Other nations may have forgotten these events, but they are ever-present to the Japanese. When a line like "a power plant is the same as a bomb" go by, and the scientist in me wants to say, "uh, no, it isn't", there's also a truth in that line that I need to listen to. And consider. Every time this topic comes up.

There are too many introductory essays. If I had it to do again, I'd read the poetry before the essays. But then I would go back and read the essays, too. They carry an important message as well.