The Poetry of Protest

For as long as there has been political activity and protest, people have found creative ways of expressing their anger, solidarity, and hopes. For those who lived many hundreds of years ago, one of the most lasting records of this creativity is the poetry they left behind them. These works of literary protest tell us a story of their lives, their woes, their relationships, as well as their hopes of a better life. However, as much as they tell us about past lives and protests, there is a timeless quality about these poems too, with many of them resonating with contemporary political movements. Below are a few of my favourites, and what they tell us about those who wrote them, and why I think they are relevant today.

A Poem on the African Slave Trade, Mary Birkett Card

Father, Who Are the Chartists?, 1844

Sir Patient Fanct, Aphra Benn, 1678


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