Working Class Poetry

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Ignorance of working-class poetry is ignorance of the working-class body. Like the proliferation of only a certain (narrow) range of body types in mass media, canonical poetry has historically shifted its eyes from the bodies of millions of people. The rough hands of laborers, cuts and scars, bruises, head injuries, muscularity, flat feet, hangnails, frown-lines, broken bones, black lungs, missing teeth, dark skin, amputations, and I could go on. I guess a logical question might be, why does poetry resist training its gaze on this segment of the population? That question seems unproductive though. There are a hundred reasons why and knowing those doesn’t make it any less a travesty to dismiss working-class literature.

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The Sundress Blog

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