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Suffragist Poetry

April 18, 2009

For the work of a day, For the taxes we pay, For the Laws we obey, We want something to say.

Over at Poetry & Popular Culture, Mike Chasar has a gallery of suffragist (and anti-suffragist) poems. Each is equally simple and equally janglingly heavily rhymed. They are far from subtle (no, eliding e-double-hockey-sticks when the rhyme scheme clearly calls for Hell doesn’t count as subtlety).

It is difficult to imagine that any one of these poems would be accepted in a literary journal, unless perhaps it were assumed to be ironic (given the prevalence ofironicsexism these days, I could certainly see the anit-suffragist piece being accepted in such terms). Nonetheless, these poems serve their function; they make a point about a major political function of the day and use sound to make it memorable. This may not be enough for a poem to make it into the canon or for it to be studied in the vast majority of literature classes (I can think of a few exceptions, but I spent my college career at west coast hippie schools). It is, however, enough to make the work matter.

  1. Emily permalink*
    April 19, 2009 11:24 am

    How wonderful! I never thought that there’d be such a thing as suffragist poetry. Thanks for sharing this.


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