“A Whole New Set of Stars”: Poetics and Revolutionary Consciousness

  • Ruth Jennison
Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)


This chapter argues that anti-capitalist poetry encodes the contours of revolutionary consciousness through its formal techniques of parataxis, nested figurative language, catalogues of affect, and distended temporalization of historical time. In close readings of works by Langston Hughes, Kenneth Fearing, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sean Bonney, and Keston Sutherland, I show how poets develop strategies to make categories often considered abstract concretely available to thought and action, including socially necessary labor time, revolutionary structures of feeling, solidarity, the post-capitalist lifeworld, and city-wide and international landscapes of revolt and struggle. To these ends, the chapter examines how poetry constellates the mediations that structure the subject becoming revolutionary.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Jennison
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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