Notes on Poetry and Communism: Abolition, Solidarity, Love

  • Rob Halpern
Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)


This chapter aims to explore poetry’s potential to help us think and feel the relations between capitalist predation and indefinite detention. Without suggesting or appropriating a radical emancipatory politics for poetry per se, it tracks poetry’s potential to pursue the subjective registration of objective conditions as it senses relation between the most intimate of private experiences and the most abstract of economic processes. The chapter considers what it might mean to radicalize that potential. In addition to making an otherwise abstract knowledge about these relations concrete at the level of one’s body, poetry might also nourish improbable solidarities across hardened borders and violent institutions, solidarities that are critical for a communism understood concretely as a set of practices oriented toward the “refusal of private appropriation”—of resources and bodies—as well as the organization of “collective reappropriation,” which arguably requires the imagination to open spaces for action.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rob Halpern
    • 1
  1. 1.Eastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

Personalised recommendations