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Anthologies, Poetry] Taggard, Genevieve, ed.

May Days: An Anthology of Verse from Masses-Liberator.


A Foundational Anthology Of Radical Literature, Inscribed
[Anthologies, Poetry]. Taggard, Genevieve, editor. May Days: An Anthology of Verse from Masses-Liberator. With Woodcuts by J.J. Lankes. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925.
8vo.; title page printed in red and black with woodcut; other woodcuts throughout; brown paper- covered boards, stamped in gilt; black cloth spine; yellow dust-jacket, one small closed tear to head of spine.
First edition of this collection of leftist poetry originally printed in the radical periodicals The Masses and the Liberator. A presentation copy, inscribed by anthology's editor Genevieve Taggard to T.A. Smith, chief editor at Boni & Liveright: To T.A. Smith Genevieve Taggard. Following the inscription, Taggard has written out a French medieval religious poem.
An interesting and extremely uncommon collection; contributors read as a virtual Who's Who list of the early 20th-century American radical left. Includes poems by John Reed, Max Eastman, Claude McKay, Babette Deutch, Louise Bogan, Elsa Gidlow, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Jean Toomer, Floyd Dell, Amy Lowell, Elinor Wylie, and others. The title of the anthology is of course taken from the great labor holiday. Taggard comments in an introduction:
I liked putting these poems together because the choosing of them took me over and over the old bound volumes, and in doing that I discovered a continuity-and a severance... What I saw had the same fascination that the face of your father at sixteen has, when you come upon it peering from an album, for the first time after years of pre-occupation with your own generation. Of course, only part of father's face is here. To put the whole portrait together I would have to get files of Others, Seven Arts, and The Little Review; find pictures of the first suffrage parades, and the speeches of social reformers reported in the New York Times; follow the editorial risings and sinkings of The Nation and The New Republic; and see by some act of the imagination, the expression on the faces of the crowds who went to the Armory Show in 1912 to watch the Nude descend the stairs... (1)

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