March Comrades: May Day Poetry by Louis Zukofsky

Harriet Monroe, Chicago heiress and founder of Poetry, [allowed] Zukofsky to edit a special issue [of Poetry Magazine] for her in February of 1931. Zukofsky’s special issue, “‘Objectivists’ 1931,” unveiled what would later become the Objectivist movement, a group of poets that included Charles Reznikoff, George Oppen, Carl Rakoski, as well as Zukofsky himself. The issue also included work by poets who would remain associated with the group in various ways, such as William Carlos Williams and Kenneth Rexroth. (from Poets.org)”

“March Comrades”
(Words for a workers’ chorus from ” ‘A’-8″)

Louis Zukofsky


Published: New Masses, May 3, 1938.
HTML: for marxists.org in March, 2002.


Workers and farmers unite
You have nothing,to lose
But your chains
The world is to win
This is May Day! May!
Your armies are veining the earth!

Railways and highways have tied
Blood of farmland and town
And the chains
Speed wheat to machine
This is May Day! May!
The poor’s armies veining the earth!

Hirers once fed by the harried
Cannot feed them their hire
Nor can chains
Hold the hungry in
This is May Day! May!
The poor are veining the earth!

Light lights in air blossoms red
Like nothing on earth
Now the chains
Drag graves to lie in
This is May Day! May!
The poor’s armies are veining the earth!

March comrades in revolution
From hirer unchained
Till your gain
Be the freedom of all
The World’s May Day! May!
May of the Freed of All the Earth!

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