Dinah Hawken

I discovered Dinah Hawken while doing a challenge on Writing.com.

Dinah was born in New Zealand in 1943 and she spent a number of years living in the United States, working with the homeless and mentally ill. Her poems speak of her experiences, but also often have a focus on women’s issues. She has had a number of books published.

And although a poem

can enclose you

like the rocky arms

of a Cornish cove,

justice is so much stronger than injustice

and this poem

has no solace to offer:

it is a phrase or two in a story

being written and woven together

by numerous, various,

generational hands.
~ From There is no harbour by Dinah Hawken


As a poet, I know that we often feel like we’re not making any difference in the world. What good will a poem do? What will it change? It doesn’t help. It’s just words on a page. This poem kind of says to me that silence is the enemy of justice. What will a poem do? More than staying silent. More than sitting here, watching injustice happen without reaching out to lend a hand. It speaks out, it records a moment, and it refuses to let things be forgotten or swept under the carpet. A poem can’t do much…but it can do something. That’s powerful.

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