By Clemens Spahr
Tackling subject matters equivalent to globalization and political activism, this publication strains engaged poetics in twentieth century American poetry. Spahr offers a finished view of activist poetry, beginning with the nice melancholy and the Harlem Renaissance and relocating to the Beats and modern writers reminiscent of Amiri Baraka and Mark Nowak.
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Extra info for A Poetics of Global Solidarity: Modern American Poetry and Social Movements
The city’s sword symbolizes both its destructive power and its people’s potential for change. Only the poem’s last lines dissolve New York’s tensions by turning it into not only the poetic vision of a glorious cosmopolis but also a poet, an active creative force realized through the labor of its inhabitants. ”). ” (14). For Giovannitti, the vision of an egalitarian cosmopolis is a realistic option in the present; the harbor is a material space that can absorb the immigrants’ hopes. If the various “Blazing Signals of a World in Birth” ● 31 international workers unite as they did in the Lawrence textile strike, New York will become an egalitarian cosmopolis.
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). In the course of the novel’s narrative, these 22 ● A Poetics of Global Solidarity protests against the incarceration of labor activists feature prominently in Dos Passos’s transformation into a committed radical (cf.
The intuitive nonverbal communication is essentially an act of love, both in the sense of a romantic love scene “in the subway on a winter morning” and in the sense of a spontaneous political affiliation with others that characterizes Rolfe’s Romanticism. A suitable, reconstituted subjectivity must absorb this dimension of human coexistence, linking global politics and the desire for meaningful interaction, rather than operate from a desk in a purely conceptual manner. 40 ● A Poetics of Global Solidarity Having outlined an emerging global poetic subjectivity in the first two parts—a subjectivity that dynamically emerges from a simultaneous engagement with literary tradition and social practice—the poet’s reflections meet in the urge to return to the cities “where men/ reveal their thoughts in action” (101).
A Poetics of Global Solidarity: Modern American Poetry and Social Movements by Clemens Spahr