an anarchist poet and an influential editor of avant-garde, feminist, and Marxist publications best remembered for her long poems and poetic sequences. She, along with other political poets of the early Modernist period, has been coming under increasing critical scrutiny at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Life and Writings
Ridge grew up in New Zealand and Australia, and moved to the San Francisco 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... more »
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Lola Ridge Poems
I have a dream to fill the golden sheath of a remembered day.... (Air
I remember The crackle of the palm trees Over the mooned white roofs of the town… The shining town…
Light! Innumerable ions of light, Kindling, irradiating, All to their foci tending…
Tender and tremulous green of leaves Turned up by the wind, Twanging among the vines - Wind in the grass
You can see the sandhills from our new room. Butterflies live in the sandhills and lizards
Drab discoloration Of faces, façades, pawn-shops, Second-hand clothing, Smoky and fly-blown glass of lunch-rooms,
Men die… Dreams only change their houses. They cannot be lined up against a wall And quietly buried under ground,
I love those spirits That men stand off and point at, Or shudder and hood up their souls - Those ruined ones,
Art And Life
When Art goes bounding, lean, Up hill-tops fired green To pluck a rose for life.
Pythoness body—arching Over the night like an ecstasy— I feel your coils tightening… And the world’s lessening breath.
Oh, God did cunningly, there at Babel - Not mere tongues dividing, but soul from soul, So that never again should men be able To fashion one infinite, towering whole.
I wonder how it would be here with you, where the wind that has shaken off its dust in low valleys
Spires of Grace Church, For you the workers of the world Travailed with the mountains… Aborting their own dreams
A late snow beats With cold white fists upon the tenements - Hurriedly drawing blinds and shutters, Like tall old slatterns
Comments about Lola Ridge
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
I have a dream
to fill the golden sheath
of a remembered day....
heavy and massed and blue
as the vapor of opium...
fired in sulphurous mist...
quiescent as a gray seal...
and the emerging sun
spurting up gold
over Sydney, smoke-pale, rising out of the bay....)
But the day is an up-turned cup
and its sun a junk of red iron
guttering in sluggish-green water--
where shall I pour my dream?