Hired Men and Hired Women:: Modern American Poetry and the Labor Problem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article identifies poets' engagements with material problems of manual labor that a more elitist critical aesthetic had preferred to ignore. It offers readings of two of the mostly frequently anthologized poems in the modern American poetry canon: Robert Frost's "The Death of the Hired Man" and T. S. Eliot's "Preludes." Each can suggest the integral but long-neglected role that the labor problem and those who lived it-that is, the poor and working class-would play in the formation of canonical modern American poetry. Although they confront vastly different labor problems-hired laborers versus urban slums and prostitutes-both poems nevertheless wrestle with the claims such problems (and the human figures behind such problems) should make upon observers' sympathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940950
ISBN (Print)9780195398779
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012

Fingerprint

Labor
American Poetry
Poem
Poet
Laborers
Prostitutes
Human Figure
Sympathy
Slums
Aesthetics
Robert Frost
Canon
Observer
T.S. Eliot
Prelude
Elitist
Working Class

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Marsh, J. E. (2012). Hired Men and Hired Women:: Modern American Poetry and the Labor Problem. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398779.013.0005
Marsh, John Edmond. / Hired Men and Hired Women:: Modern American Poetry and the Labor Problem. The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry. Oxford University Press, 2012.
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Marsh, JE 2012, Hired Men and Hired Women:: Modern American Poetry and the Labor Problem. in The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398779.013.0005

Hired Men and Hired Women:: Modern American Poetry and the Labor Problem. / Marsh, John Edmond.

The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Marsh JE. Hired Men and Hired Women:: Modern American Poetry and the Labor Problem. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry. Oxford University Press. 2012 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398779.013.0005