The Swedish poet, Tomas Tranströmer, in a Transatlantic letter to his friend Robert Bly, expressed concern about a human failing to always polarise everything into utter good or utter evil:

Tomas Tranströmer’s poem seems just as relevant today:

  • news or fake news (Trump)
  • in or out (Brexit)
  • native or immigrant
  • brainlessness or mindlessness
  • evidence or experience
  • freedom of speech or protection from offence
  • numbers or words
  • embodied or disembodied
  • objective or subjective
  • arts or sciences

These divides seem to me to be generally unhelpful and unrealistic.  Such divides can be harmful, and rather than encouraging dialogue, tend to set the scene for conflict.

Here is another short poem by Tomas Tranströmer:



2 Replies to “Polarization”

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