I am so proud to be a Hampshire College alum. The college is exemplary in so many ways and continually allies itself with people I admire. The speaker at my commencement in 2004 (chosen by a student vote) was brave and pioneering journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. This year's speaker, also chosen by students, was brave and pioneering poet Martin Espada. His inspirational speech advocates justice and love as strongly as it does resistance and determination.
Espada wrote: "In the Republic of Poetry there is no war, because phrases like 'weapons of mass destruction,' 'shock and awe,' 'collateral damage' and 'surge' are nothing but clichés, bad poetry by bad poets, and no one believes them. They bleed language of its meaning, drain the blood from words. You, the next generation, must reconcile language with meaning, restore the blood to words, and end this war."
Read the whole speech.