Bars and Shadows: The Prison Poems of Ralph Chaplin cover

Bars and Shadows: The Prison Poems of Ralph Chaplin

Ralph Chaplin (1887-1961)

1. Introduction
2. Mourn Not the Dead
3. Taps
4. Night in the Cell House
5. Prison Shadows
6. Prison Reveille
7. Prison Nocturne
8. The Warrior Wind
9. To Freedom
10. The Vision Maker
11. Distances
12. Phantoms
13. Seven Little Sparrows
14. Salaam!
15. The West is Dead
16. Up From Your Knees
17. The Eunuch
18. I.W.W. Prison Song
19. To France
20. Villanelle
21. Wesley Everest
22. The Industrial Heretics
23. Blood and Wine
24. The Red Guard
25. The Red Feast
26. The Girls Who Sang for Us
27. To Edith
28. Song of Separation
29. To My Little Son
30. Escaped!
31. Retrospect

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Ralph Chaplin and many other prominent members of the Industrial Workers of the World were imprisoned under the Espionage Act of 1917 as the United States entered World War I. As with Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, these activists were accused of undermining recruiting efforts and the draft - even of encouraging soldiers to desert. Though they never gained the universal popularity of his anthem "Solidarity Forever," the poems and songs in this volume - composed during his four years in prison - represent the defiant attitude of a true rebel in the face of persecution.