Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lorine, Lorine, the Thirties Machine

San Francisco's own Rumor Books, edited by Steve Dickison from the SFSU Poetry Center, recently published Niedecker's New Goose poems, a series she wrote from 1935 to 1945 based loosely on nursery rhymes, but filled with all sorts of sharp political and social comment.

The first poem in the series strikes me as a great illustration of that shift in tone that comes with the Thirties, modernist wineskins for socialist wine. Kind of takes as its subject too Williams's idea about the intimate connection between speech forms and social structures. What do you think?

A country's economics sick
affects its people's speech.

No bread and cheese and strawberries
I have no pay, they say.

Till in revolution rises
the strength to change

the undigestible phrase.

Nice essay on Niedecker for the interested here.

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