Poetry. Edited and with an introduction by Daniel Tobin. LIGHT IN HAND offers selections from Ridge's first three volumes of poetry that have entered the public domain: The Ghetto and Other Poems, Sun-Up and Other Poems, and Red Flag. The poems in this volume showcase Ridge's critical yet compassionate eye for the world around her, from the Jewish ghetto of the Lower East Side to the bloody frontlines of World War I. Rich with finely-drawn details of person and place, Ridge's poems marry a materialist political sensibility with a deep spiritual belief in the ability of humankind to transcend the world's havoc and strife. As Ridge writes in "Obliteration" of "The emptily effacing air,/ That has closed upon so many cries./ Yet holds in its blue vacuum/ No bleached white evidence," it is often the work of history to bury the cries of the oppressed, as well as those who try to speak out against injustice. It was Ridge's lifelong mission to counteract this erasure and illuminate that evidence.
Lola Ridge was born in Dublin, grew up in New Zealand and Australia, and moved to the United States in 1907. Her first book, The Ghetto and Other Poems was published in 1918. The title poem portrays the Jewish community of Hester Street New York, and deals with the effects of capitalism, gender conflict and conflicts between generations on this immigrant community in ways that bear comparison to the works of Charles Reznikoff. The book was a critical success and led to her involvement with avant-garde magazines such as Others and Broom. Ridge went on to publish four more books of poetry.Author City: USA