Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article identifies poets' engagements with material problems of manual labor that a more elitist critical aesthetic had preferred to ignore. It offers readings of two of the mostly frequently anthologized poems in the modern American poetry canon: Robert Frost's “The Death of the Hired Man” and T. S. Eliot's “Preludes.” Each can suggest the integral but long-neglected role that the labor problem and those who lived it—that is, the poor and working class—would play in the formation of canonical modern American poetry. Although they confront vastly different labor problems—hired laborers versus urban slums and prostitutes—both poems nevertheless wrestle with the claims such problems (and the human figures behind such problems) should make upon observers' sympathies.

Keywords: manual labor, Robert Frost, The Death of the Hired Man, T. S. Eliot, Preludes

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.