The Fugitives

Allen Tate was a founding member of The Fugitives, a collection of poets and scholars at Vanderbilt University, 1920. They felt the new paradigm of mass production, Detroit, wage slaves was dehumanizing, and sought an agrarian alternative. Robert Penn Warren and John Crowe Ransom were likewise founders.

I’m ambivalent on the agrarian side of it, because the mechanized side of the world was going to rule.  Look at them foundling Soviets! Labor, prole!

They were also pretty segregationist. Wonderful writers, though. The opening stanza of Tate’s Ode to the Confederate Dead:

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

That’s pretty fucking strong.


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