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The Dangers of PoetryCulture, Politics, and Revolution in Iraq$
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Kevin M. Jones

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781503613393

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503613393.001.0001

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Poetry of Public Spaces

Poetry of Public Spaces

Mass Politics and New Horizons, 1946–1958

(p.130) Chapter 5 Poetry of Public Spaces
The Dangers of Poetry

Kevin M. Jones

Stanford University Press

This chapter describes the era of the poetry of public spaces, when dissident leftist poets participated in massive popular protests and galvanized their audiences with defiant acts of public dissidence. The chapter also documents the rise of free verse poetry and analyzes the relationship between modernist aesthetics and the politics of commitment in Iraq. It shows how a young generation of modernist poets joined the Iraqi Communist Party and embraced the socialist internationalism promoted by communist poets in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The chapter also addresses how a new generation of nationalist poets increasingly gravitated toward socialist ideals, embracing the Sartrean ethos of commitment and joining their communist comrades and rivals in articulating the new cultural politics of the national front.

Keywords:   poetry, nationalism, Iraqi politics, intellectual life, politics and literature, politics and culture, socialism, communism, modernism, Cold War

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