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 language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|State||Published - Nov 21 2012|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)