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By Michael Thurston

Poetry makes not anything happen," wrote W. H. Auden in 1939, expressing a trust that got here to dominate American literary associations within the past due 1940s--the concept that strong poetry can't, and shouldn't, be politically engaged. against this, Michael Thurston right here seems to be again to the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties to a iteration of poets who wrote with definitely the right wish and the deep conviction that they'd circulate their audiences to motion. He deals a fascinating new examine the political poetry of Edwin Rolfe, Langston Hughes, Ezra Pound, and Muriel Rukeyser.

Thurston combines shut textual studying of the poems with examine into their ancient context to bare how those 4 poets deployed the assets of culture and experimentation to contest and redefine political logic. within the approach, he demonstrates that the classy censure less than which a lot partisan writing has worked wishes dramatic revision. even though each one of those poets labored with diversified varieties and towards diverse ends, Thurston exhibits that their ideas be successful as poetry. He argues that partisan poetry calls for mirrored image not just on how we review poems but in addition on what we price in poems and, hence, which poems we elevate.

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