FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Monday, November 1, 2010

FUUO quote of the week from Wallace Stevens

This is a great quote that I have always loved.  It's one of the reasons I have a poet of the week.   It's easy to dismiss poetry as irrelevant to foreign policy, but I think this is short sighted and naive.  In cultures whose foundation is largely built on an oral history, the understanding of their poetry  (especially spoken poetry) is essential to understanding the culture.  More than any intel brief or background paper, a grasp and deep knowledge of important poets and his/her poems speaks volumes to the issues that a nation's countrymen hold close to their heart.  More on this later....

"The soldier is poor, without the poet's lines."
-Wallace Stevens Some of my favorite poetry books:

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