Emily Dickinson Quotes (Author of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson)
12 Poems to Read for Black History Month
The earliest surviving English poetry may have been composed in the 7th century. The highest poetic achievement in Old English literature is Beowulf , a line epic by an unknown author. Following the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century, Anglo-Saxon rapidly diminished as a written literary language and it was not until the 14th century that major works of English literature began to appear once again. The poet G eoffrey Chaucer — is credited with legitimizing the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin. Due to this, Chaucer is referred to as the Father of English literature. With the discovery of the New World and the rise of Great Britain as an international superpower , English spread to other parts of the world.
Poets have commented on the events of the day, giving voice to the oppressed and downtrodden, immortalized rebels, and campaigned for social change. This poetic fountain of outrage was prompted by the infamous Peterloo Massacre of in Manchester, England. The massacre began as a peaceful protest of pro-democracy and anti-poverty and ended with at least 18 deaths and over serious injuries. Within those numbers were innocents; women and children. Two centuries later the poem retains its power. Shelley's moving poem is an epic 91 verses, each of four or five lines a piece. It is brilliantly written and mirrors the intensity of the 39th and 40th stanzas :.
Tim Atkins does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Verse has a long history of resisting oppression and rallying opposition in the face of overwhelming odds. Here are five poets every protester should read. As demands for greater human rights and fewer governmental wrongs grew, the bloody violence that was meted out by the army and police saw an increasingly strident, anguished, and collective response in verse. Giovanni sums up the fear and the lack of privacy that any artist could encounter if they raised a voice in dissent. Levertov famously fell out with poet Robert Duncan over the best way to write political poetry. The issues that their argument raised were concerned with whether one should comment directly upon particular political issues or should write verse that engaged in a more abstract, less polemical manner.
More people have been turning to poetry to better express their anger rage at the modern world along with their desire to resist oppression.
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2. Denise Levertov
When we have become overwhelmed with the world and its unkindness, poetry still offers a haven. These 15 poets burn the page and the screen with their poems of protest. We spoke, we witnessed with voices and hands. My father and brother were born with cannonball fists. Avalanche tongues. They know how to light flame to the smallest injustice.