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Lola Ridge (Lola Rose Emily Ridge) Biography

(1871–1941), (Lola Rose Emily Ridge), Mother Earth, The Ghetto, Sun-Up, Red Flag, Firehead

mother settled verse york

American poet, born in Dublin. At the age of 16 she accompanied her mother to New Zealand; they eventually settled in Sydney, Australia, where she attended Trinity College and studied art at the Academie Julienne. Following her mother's death, in 1907 she travelled to the USA and settled in New York, working as an artist's model and an advertising copywriter. She became identified as a poet of political dissent through the publication of her verse in Emma Goldman's Mother Earth, America's leading anarchist journal in the years before the First World War. The title sequence of The Ghetto (1918), her first collection of poems, employed a social realist mode to celebrate the lives and occupations of typifying examples of New York's working classes. Her disciplined freeverse forms and emphatic use of concrete detail, which showed her affinities with Imagism, were sustained in Sun-Up (1920) and Red Flag (1927), both of which reflected her socialist views. With Edna St Vincent Millay and others, Ridge devoted much energy to the unsuccessful campaign to prevent the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti, whose deaths are symbolically central to the impassioned lyricism of her version of the Crucifixion in Firehead (1929). The religious and mythical aspect of her work intensified in Dance of Fire (1935), in which she displays impressive skill in the use of traditional verse forms; although intended as the first part of an epic celebration of human development, no further sections were published.

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