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I have included a link to the anthology, "The Best American Poetry." There is such an anthology put out each year and this might be a very good guide as to poetry that is considered to be stellar and might be something for you to consider as you search for poems in the 21st Century. However, for my bet, I would say that one of the most powerful and compelling poems would be, "The Corrupt on Earth" written by Abdul Mohsen Musalam. The poem is about corrupt judiciary members in Saudi Arabia that "have blood on their beards" because of their supposed abdication of ethical and moral responsibility. The poet was thrown in jail by the Saudi government, sparking a free speech issue. The challenge here is that Musalam has been associated with some disconcerting beliefs about Jewish individuals as well as his embrace of a more orthodox stand on government and interpretation of religion. The reason why this poem is famous and probably worthy of exploration is that it strikes at the very essence of free speech and expression. Sometimes, the defense of individual freedom applies to those who say the most uncomfortable of thoughts and ideas. If we, as individuals in the modern setting, do not apply the same tenets of free speech to these individuals, then there is a significant question as to whether or not the issue of free speech is strong. As we enter a world where terrorism is a real and valid entity, art constantly poses the challenge of how committed we are to our ideals and beliefs, especially freedom of speech.
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