Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Left of PoetryDepression America and the Formation of Modern Poetics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sarah Ehlers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651286

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651286.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Left Needs Rhythm

The Left Needs Rhythm

Popular Front Poetry, Antifascism, and the Counterarchives of Modernism

Chapter:
(p.181) Chapter Five The Left Needs Rhythm
Source:
Left of Poetry
Author(s):

Sarah Ehlers

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651286.003.0005

This chapter considers the role of the archive in left literary studies through a recovery of Jewish-American communist poet Martha Millet. Specifically, it uses Millet’s work to trace a history and theory of poetic rhythm that rethinks the relationship between modernist poetic forms and left politics. The chapter’s first section uses Millet’s involvement with the children’s magazine The New Pioneer to unpack the historical relationship between traditional forms and political community formation. The generic histories enacted by communist children’s poems provide a foundation for considering how rhythm was evoked in Popular Front and antifascist poetic discourses. The second section argues that during the Popular Front diverse traditional genres were collapsed into an ideal rhythmic poem, where rhythm described both form and function. The third section focuses on Millet’s contributions to Seven Poets in Search of an Answer (1944) to demonstrate how rhythm was redefined in antifascist discourses. Throughout, the chapter suggests how Millet’s poetry might be read in relation to poets such as Carl Sandburg, Lorine Niedecker, and Kenneth Fearing. A coda returns to Millet’s Cold War criticism in order to ask what is at stake in her critical erasure and her critical recovery.

Keywords:   Modernism, rhythm, antifascism, Martha Millet, Carl Sandburg, Lorine Niedecker, Kenneth Fearing

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .