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Post Posted:: July 16th, 2017, 2:33 am 

Joined: June 5th, 2014, 8:43 am
Posts: 609
As the fifth and final volume of Poems of American History nears cataloging, it's time to confess that I've imagined a companion piece since Volume One.

The tone and content of that massive text has decidedly reflected Patriarchy, Manifest Destiny, White Man's Burden, and much, much more of the same. It was worth doing anyway, and I'm glad I did, but a correction wouldn't be out of order. I'm not knocking the verities acclaimed throughout, nor the great poets that rose above the editor, but there's more to history than battle drums.

Phillis Wheatley, for instance, would never have made it into that book. Nor Emily Dickinson. Now, here's the rub. Emily did not write about the Affairs of Nations. Are her poems history, or not even? I say history. They capture a part of the world soul. I read a stunning verse by her recently:

These Strangers, in a foreign World,
Protection asked of me—
Befriend them, lest Yourself in Heaven
Be found a Refugee—

Got relevance?

Frederick Douglass wrote poetry, and enjoyed a lot of press recently. Doing a tremendous job! Big impact!

We got sanitized Whitman in the text, Oh Captain My Captain, but we didn't get the pages that are still being torn out of his books today...

Indigenous voices, LGBT... we could do another five volumes, but lets keep it to one.

Here's why I'm writing in Book Suggestions instead of just launching a new project: I can't get this off the ground alone, and am inviting readers to make suggestions, on this thread, for "Other Voices." I would like to structure it like a poetry anthology: One poem, one track. Date of poem included, sections arranged by me chronologically, as they come in. I hope readers will dive deep, and find pearls. But to gauge whether this will take off, or be a long slog I don't have as much time for lately, I'm asking if people are interested, and if they have ready suggestions. If this thread catches fire, I'll launch it in a New York minute. If it languishes, I'll time capsule the idea for some future BC searching through Suggestions for a project.

What do you think?


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Post Posted:: July 16th, 2017, 3:27 pm 

Joined: November 28th, 2015, 7:47 am
Posts: 952
Location: Florida
In one of my recent chapbooks, Selected Poetry from 'The Measure' https://archive.org/details/SelectedPoetryFromTheMeasureVol.1 , there is a poem (My Street, by Isadore Schneider) about life in his NYC neighborhood, first published in 1922. That's a nice little slice of US history.

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Post Posted:: July 16th, 2017, 4:34 pm 

Joined: August 27th, 2015, 8:33 am
Posts: 1175
There are pictures of war in this one:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/841

Tony Addison.


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Post Posted:: July 19th, 2017, 9:29 am 

Joined: November 28th, 2015, 7:47 am
Posts: 952
Location: Florida
If you go back into the early, pre-'23 issues of The Crisis, the American civil rights magazine produced by the NAACP, you'll find a lot of good poetry by Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and others.

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Post Posted:: July 19th, 2017, 1:45 pm 

Joined: June 5th, 2014, 8:43 am
Posts: 609
These are great resources. Thank you both. Vfka, or Bellona - I don't know the familiar form :D - the insight into that particular publication is the exact kind of thing I was asking the forum about. I don't want to create a specific list, but as with the Christmas collections and others, be able to point to several resources so people could read and choose, or be motivated to start a search of their own.

My easily found contribution along those lines is good old Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_poets These are organized by decades, and nationalities noted, so its easy to skim out the American women from the 17th Century on.

I think many native declarations, from the Chiefs of the 19th Century, were formally composed, however they were transmitted, and have the quality of bardic recitation, and would sure get inclusion from me.


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Post Posted:: July 19th, 2017, 5:25 pm 

Joined: December 12th, 2016, 9:27 pm
Posts: 641
Ed:

What a terrific idea. One cannot teach African American History without the contributions of Frederick Douglass, Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, and many others.

The value of poetry in the teaching of history is that it captures something that is not captured in academic historical narratives or even in a recapitulation of old newspapers/magazines. The emotion of the events how people felt, rather than just what they did, is encapsulated in distilled form in the poetry of the times. (That's why I was so pleased to discover your previous 5 volume work.) Unlike diaries or letters which were intended for a limited audience, poetry usually reflects broader social patterns. While poetry is not necessarily factual in and of itself, the emotions expressed in the poetry of the time are as valuable a resource for the study how people felt about their times as any government or other primary source document.

(Didn't mean to pontificate--but sometimes it's an occupational hazard.)

With respect to other voices...I realize that you indicated the project could easily morph into 5 volumes and I agree. I just wanted to point out another dimension of otherness--in addition to the usual ones--that were in their time--also outside the mainstream--the utopians, the grangers, the wobblies, the trade unionists, Northern slave holders and Southern abolitionists (there were a few). I do not mean to discount or take away from the conventional categories of other-ness, but merely to show the immense boundaries of the field.

I'll quit thinking now and go back to my bookshelves and my files and see if I can come up with some concrete suggestions. Whatever form this project eventually takes, count me in.

Many thanks,

Philip

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Post Posted:: July 19th, 2017, 5:54 pm 

Joined: June 5th, 2014, 8:43 am
Posts: 609
All right then! That stirring affirmation was the tipping point!

Let's us this thread to uncover sources, then I'll organize them as suggestions with links for the first dialogue box under the magic window.

Anyone else feeling this?


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Post Posted:: July 20th, 2017, 1:49 am 

Joined: August 27th, 2015, 8:33 am
Posts: 1175
This was published 1887 regardless of the doubts of its authenticity.

http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/chiefsea.html

Sincerely,
Tony Addison.


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Post Posted:: July 21st, 2017, 3:34 am 

Joined: June 5th, 2014, 8:43 am
Posts: 609
Thanks for another link, Tony. And Philip, to add to my reaction, I admit I shivered when I read "wobblies." Geez, I've got a lot of heart with that crew, and it never sunk in that they were pre 1923 as well, or I'd probably have soloed an IWW collection by now. I strongly support the all the inclusions you mention.


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