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, poet, editor, and passionate crusader for social justice, was a fixture of the New York literary avant-garde in the early twentieth century. Ridge's outspoken political views and vivid, original verse earned her a place of prominence amidst such left-wing reformers and artists as Kay Boyle, John Dos Passos, and Harold Loeb, as well as luminaries of modernist American poetry including William Carlos Williams and Hart Crane. However, since her death in 1941, Ridge's writing has become little more than a footnote to the history of American modernist poetry. Her books include VERSES, LIGHT IN HAND: SELECTED EARLY POEMS OF LOLA RIDGE, and THE GHETTO AND OTHER POEMS.Author City: USA