A review of Belarusian poet Julia Cimafiejeva’s book Motherfield ends with this observation: “She wields her flexed, forceful verses like that mightiest of muscles — the tongue.”
That comment pairs with the ancient cliché that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Would it were true! At least Putin would be brutalizing Ukraine with words, not sticks and stones.
Apologists for verbal violence spewed by the likes of Clarkson and approved by his editor Newton say “it’s only words,” and is shielded by freedom of speech. The threadbare dodge is absurdly disingenuous. Malignant words can wound and sicken, ripple far and wide, and have lasting, unpredictable consequences up to and including mayhem and death.
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