I see little of more importance to our country and our civilization than recognition of the place of the artist. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda, it is a form of truth. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. Where power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

comments in honour of Robert Frost; John F. Kennedy, Amherst College, 1963

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