A Poetics of Global Solidarity: Modern American Poetry and by Clemens Spahr

A Poetics of Global Solidarity: Modern American Poetry and by Clemens Spahr

By Clemens Spahr

Tackling subject matters resembling globalization and political activism, this publication lines engaged poetics in twentieth century American poetry. Spahr presents a accomplished view of activist poetry, beginning with the good melancholy and the Harlem Renaissance and relocating to the Beats and modern writers equivalent to Amiri Baraka and Mark Nowak.

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Even before Vietnam, Cuba invited the global poetic imagination of American radicals to consider alternatives to a consumerist Western world and to global capitalism. All of the poets and lyricists discussed in this chapter, from Bob Dylan to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, and Denise Levertov, were involved in the social movements of the 1960s. The sea changes in world politics and the constitution of the New Left with its liberation politics not only enabled new coalitions but also made it more difficult to place one’s poetry in the context of often contradictory social movements.

Forming the structure of the new society within the jails of the old” (717). The song lyrics and poems emerging in the context of the IWW were intended to create a sense of solidarity among the working class. In addition to the appeal these songs and poems had for working-class people, they were also instrumental in recruiting a large number of middle-class intellectuals such as Dos Passos. ), Dos Passos relates how, from the window of his Harvard dormitory, he witnessed “millworkers marching with a red brass band through the streets of Lawrence Massachusetts” (263).

Kalaidjian). Rolfe’s early poems however, those written during the Great Depression, have been seen rather critically as “continuing, and only occasionally successful, efforts to find in the romantic lyric a way to capture without compromise the violence and exploitation inherent in the American “Blazing Signals of a World in Birth” ● 35 economic system and a way to explore and enact the collective resistance necessary to change that system” (Thurston, Making Something Happen 56). Along similar lines Nelson has argued that Rolfe’s “later work would be more rhetorically accomplished” (Nelson, “Lyric Politics” 749).

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