Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © 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: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article argues for the importance of the “vest-pocket masterpiece” and the individual poetry clipping in understanding the situation of poetry in twentieth-century American popular culture and in the lives of ordinary readers. It accesses the culture of incidental poetry in two major ways, each of which taps—via the individual clipping and its carriage—in to a different point along the communications circuit of poetry's social lives. First, it traces the international circulation of a single poem—V. M. Rodebaugh's Depression-era “Rejected,” a piece of political satire first printed in 1938—as it made its way not only into Paul Fox's portfolio in Ashland, Ohio, but also into the footlockers and albums of World War II soldiers, onto the desk of Eleanor Roosevelt, and into the hands and rocket bombs of propagandists in Nazi Germany. Then, it examines the political and aesthetic dimensions that individual poetry clippings like “Rejected” acquired as they were collected, read, edited, and saved in poetry scrapbooks. Many noteworthy authors kept scrapbooks themselves; by focusing primarily on anthologies edited by less credentialed individuals, however, it is shown how such albums became engines for critical reading processes in the hands of readers who would have encountered poetry largely in incidental ways.

Keywords: newspaper poetry, American poetry, incidental poetry, V. M. Rodebaugh, Rejected, poetry clipping

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.