July 31, 2020

Can division ever solve human problems?

Claire Scott, 52

The human race has been brought low. Having spent millennia developing the attitudes and technologies necessary to place us in a position of dominance in the natural world, our civilisations and societies have been devastated by the tiniest of organisms. In the 21st century we are vulnerable and the best and worst parts of us are exposed. We are facing an enemy with the power to wipe us out and our old ideas about defence are both useless and all we have. These poems explore the idea of walls, both physical and metaphorical, seeking to examine the notion that division could ever be an answer to human problems. With the American president using both the promise of a physical wall and seeking to divide his nation for political ends while facing an enemy no wall could stop, this is a significant issue for our times. In addition, the juxtaposition of the macroscopic and microscopic worlds is explored to demonstrate both an uneasy coexistence where size is no guarantee of strength and the way that division in human society mirrors the way in which a virus behaves. If poetry expresses the human condition, it is the perfect medium for this year.

Can Division Ever Solve Human Problems?, 2020Poetry