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The Daily Poetry Movement

Sacco and Vanzetti were framed. Everyone knows this. I have provided you with the trademarked Harvard timeline to the case. They were murdered by our government, hunted down, and snatched up to be executed fro being anarchists. Todays poetry is by Edna St Vincente Millay, Jon Dos Passos, and Rexroth. At the end I have provided links to the case. From the very beginning of the trial it was much publicized due to the fact it was an obvious frame up job by government by men who did not believe in government. Reform? Resist! Refuse!
". . . when you want to distract your mother from the discouraging soulness, I will tell you what I used to do. To take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wildflowers here and there, resting under the shade of trees, between the harmony of the vivid stream and the tranquillity of the mother-nature, and I am sure she will enjoy this very much, as you surely will be happy for it. But remember always, Dante, in the play of happiness, don't use all for yourself only, but down yourself just one step, at your side and help the weak ones that cry for help, help the prosecuted and the victim; because they are your friends; they are the comrades that fight and fall as your father and Bartolo fought and fell yesterday, for the conquest of the joy of freedom for all and the poor workers. In this struggle of life you will find more love and you will be loved."
óNicola Sacco to his son Dante, Aug. 18, 1927.
Angst und Gestalt und Gebet óRilke

They Are Dead Now": Eulogy for Sacco and Vanzetti
The emotional and highly publicized case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti became a touchstone and rallying cry for American radicals in the early 20th century. The two Italian immigrants were accused in 1920 of murdering a paymaster in a holdup. Although the evidence against them was flimsy, they were readily convicted, in large part because they were immigrants and anarchists. Despite international protests, they were executed on August 23, 1927. Novelist John Dos Passos became deeply involved in the case after he visited Sacco and Vanzetti in Massachusetts prisons. In the fall of 1920 he joined the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee. The case and execution were commemorated in an outpouring of literary expression. John Dos Passos's "They Are Dead Nowó -" appeared inthe New Masses, October 1927. A stark poem that repudiated its own form as inadequate to the subject, it opened "This isn't a poem." In the poem, the executions ended the dreams not only of Sacco and Vanzetti, but those of many others who had followed the trials with disbelief and outrage.

This isn't a poem
This is two men in grey prison clothes.
One man sits looking at the sick flesh of his handsóhands that haven't worked for seven years.
Do you know how long a year is?
Do you know how many hours there are in a day
when a day is twenty-three hours on a cot in a cell,
in a cell in a row of cells in a tier of rows of cells
all empty with the choked emptiness of dreams?
Do you know the dreams of men in jail?
They are dead now
The black automatons have won.
They are burned up utterly
their flesh has passed into the air of Massachusetts their dreams have passed into the wind.
"They are dead now," the Governor's secretary nudges the Governor,
"They are dead now," the Superior Court Judge nudges
the Supreme Court Judge,
"They are dead now" the College President nudges
the College President
A dry chuckling comes up from all the dead:
The white collar dead; the silkhatted dead;
the frockcoated dead
They hop in and out of automobiles
breathe deep in relief
as they walk up and down the Boston streets.
they are free of dreams now
free of greasy prison denim
their voices blow back in a thousand lingoes
singing one song
to burst the eardrums of Massachusetts
Make a poem of that if you dare!
Source: John Dos Passos, "They Are Dead Nowó" New Masses, October 1927, 228-229.
See Also:

Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Sonnets in Memory"
from the book Wine from These Grapes (1934)
(Nicola Sacco--Bartolomeo Vanzetti)
Executed August 23, 1927


As men have loved their lovers in times past
And sung their wit, their virtue and their graces,
So we have loved sweet Justice to the last,
That now lies here in an unseemly place.
The child will quit the cradle and grow wise
And stare on beauty till his senses drown;
Yet shall be seen no more by mortal eyes
Such beauty as here walked and here went down.
Like birds that hear the winter crying plain
Her courtiers leave to seek the clement south;
Many have praised her, we alone remain
To break a fist against the lying mouth
Of any man who says this was not so:
Though she be dead now, as indeed we know.

Where can the heart be hidden in the ground
And be at peace, and be at peace forever,
Under the world, untroubled by the sound
Of mortal tears, that cease from pouring never?
Well for the heart, by stern compassion harried,
If death be deeper than the churchmen say,--
Gone from this world indeed what's graveward carried,
And laid to rest indeed what's laid away.
Anguish enough while yet the indignant breather
Have blood to spurt upon the oppressor's hand;
Who would eternal be, and hang in ether
A stuffless ghost above his struggling land,
Retching in vain to render up the groan
That is not there, being aching dust's alone?

August 22, 1937
For a month now, wandering over the Sierras,
A poem had been gathering in my mind,
Details of significance and rhythm,
The way poems do, but still lacking a focus.
Last night I remembered the date and it all
Began to grow together and take on purpose.
We sat up late while Deneb moved over the zenith
And I told Marie all about Boston, how it looked
That last terrible week, how hundreds stood weeping
Impotent in the streets that last midnight.
I told her how those hours changed the lives of thousands,
How America was forever a different place
Afterwards for many.
In the morning
We swam in the cold transparent lake, the blue
Damsel flies on all the reeds like millions
Of narrow metallic flowers, and I thought
Of you behind the grille in Dedham, Vanzetti,
Saying, "Who would ever have thought we would make this history?"
Crossing the brilliant mile-square meadow
Illuminated with asters and cyclamen,
The pollen of the lodgepole pines drifting
With the shifting wind over it and the blue
And sulphur butterflies drifting with the wind,
I saw you in the sour prison light, saying,
"Goodbye comrade."
In the basin under the crest
Where the pines end and the Sierra primrose begins,
A party of lawyers was shooting at a whiskey bottle.
The bottle stayed on its rock, nobody could hit it.
Looking back over the peaks and canyons from the last lake,
The pattern of human beings seemed simpler
Than the diagonals of water and stone.
Climbing the chute, up the melting snow and broken rock,
I remembered what you said about Sacco,
How it slipped your mind and you demanded it be read into the record.
Traversing below the ragged arÍte,
One cheek pressed against the rock
The wind slapping the other,
I saw you both marching in an army
You with the red and black flag, Sacco with the rattlesnake banner.
I kicked steps up the last snow bank and came
To the indescribably blue and fragrant
Polemonium and the dead sky and the sterile
Crystalline granite and final monolith of the summit.
These are the things that will last a long time, Vanzetti,
I am glad that once on your day I have stood among them.
Some day mountains will be named after you and Sacco.
They will be here and your name with them,
"When these days are but a dim remembering of the time
When man was wolf to man."
I think men will be remembering you a long time
Standing on the mountains
Many men, a long time, comrade.
By Rexroth  http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/poems/1930s.htm

"This is what I say: I would not wish to a dog or to a snake, to the most low or misfortunate creature of the earth --- I would not wish to any of them what I have had to suffer for things that I am not guilty of. But my conviction is that I have suffered for things that I am guilty of. I am suffering because I am a radical and indeed I am a radical; I have suffered because I was an Italian, and indeed I am an Italian; I have suffered more for my family and for my beloved than for myself; but I am so convinced to be right that if you could execute me two times, and if I could be reborn two other times, I would live again to do what I have done already.
I have finished. Thank you."
---Bartolomeo Vanzetti, to Judge Thayer, upon being sentenced to death, April 9, 1927

Time line of the Case provided by Harvard
15 April : Parmenter and Berardelli murdered at South Braintree
5 May : Sacco and Vanzetti arrested
6 May : District Attorney Katzmann interviews Sacco and Vanzetti
11 June to 16 August : Indictment, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Vanzetti for 24 December, 1919, attempted holdup in Bridgewater.
11 September : Sacco and Vanzetti indicted for South Braintree murder.

31 May to 14 July : Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti at Dedham.
14 July : Sacco and Vanzetti found guilty of 1st degree murder.
5 November : Motion for new trial on the weight of the evidence.
8 November : 1st Supplementary motion (Ripley) filed
24 December : Motion for new trial on weight of evidence denied.

4 May : 2nd Supplementary motion (Gould) filed.
1 October : Supplement to 1st motion (Daly) filed.
5 November : 5th Supplementary motion (Proctor) filed.

1 October : Judge Thayer denies all motions.

18 November : Medeiros sends confession to Sacco in Dedham jail.

12 May : Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirms conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti and denial of 1st, 2nd, and 5th Supplementary motions.
26 May : 7th Supplementary motion (Medeiros) filed.
23 October : Judge Thayer denies Medeiros motion.

5 April : Supreme Judicial Court affirms denial of Medeiros motion.
9 April : Judge Thayer sentences Sacco and Vanzetti to death.
3 May : Sacco and Vanzetti petition Governor Fuller for clemency.
1 June : Governor Fuller appoints Advisory Committee.
3 August : Governor Fuller denies clemency.
6 August : Motion for new trial based on judge's prejudice filed.
8 August : Judge Thayer denies motion.
10 August : Justice Holmes of U.S. Supreme Court denies petition for writ of habeas corpus.
20 August : Justice Holmes denies petition for writ of certiorari.
22 August : Justice Stone of U.S. Supreme Court denies petition for writ of certiorari.
23 August : Sacco and Vanzetti executed.

Articles about Sacco and Vanzetti
 http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/Writings/Essays/sacco.html (Emma Goldman)

 http://flag.blackened.net/daver/anarchism/index.html (anarchist library links)
 http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail335.html (cartoon from the daily worker)
 http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Nook/1082/margaret_atwood_page.html (Margaret Atwood page links)
 http://www.italianamericanwriters.com/vanzetti.html (Italian american writers page)

Three excellent poems 10.Jan.2004 09:15


Sacco could have been a decent poet, too.

Good choosing.
Good links.
Good work.

You make me blush, Bill 11.Jan.2004 03:57

Migratory Bird

Thank you, it means a lot to me. Do you have any topic suggestions? I'd be happy to do the research...

Sacco and Vanzetti in History 01.Feb.2004 06:46

Richard Newby rnewby@ilstu.edu

Kill Now, Talk Forever: A solid contribution to Sacco and Vanzetti scholarship. My discovery of ______'s lie at the trial creates Sophoclean irony, giving 21st-century readers of Dedham transcript an inculpatory fact on Vanzetti not known to Katzmann, Frankfurter, Dr. Paul Avrich, or authors of U. S. history survey textbooks, or The Oxford Companion to United States History. The etymology of _______ Why didn't Stanford's best (David Kennedy) and Harvard's best (Lizabeth Cohen) show curiosity about ______ when they (if they did) read the Dedham transcript? Richard's Singular Discovery-- Richard Newby found three primary sources at two locations_____. He found new evidence! No other scholar on Sacco and Vanzetti has found these sources. That new art of historical detection will be reflected in his revision of 2004. Newby found these sources, not history professors! Richard Newby can document that defense witness ____ did not tell the truth at Dedham trial.  Watch for news item on his failure to mention THE ___. How did J. M. Faragher of Yale err on Sacco and Vanzetti?  How did Eric Foner of Columbia err badly on this topic? Editor Newby created the book--Kill Now, Talk Forever: Debating Sacco and Vanzetti. Newby owns more books on Sacco and Vanzetti than Brown University. Challenge #1: Note Professor Pernicone's factual error on Sacco and Vanzetti in ANB, Vol. 19, p. 174, column 2, lines 50-53. Challenge #2: See The Nation (08/20/1977) to discover how Eric Foner misread the Dedham trial transcript. Did he copy Frankfurter's 1927 factual error and enlarge it? Challenge #3: Note as well Pernicone's ad hominem attacks in JAH (Dec. 1979, p. 536). Other challenges follow. "Kill Now,Talk Forever" is a worthy update of the Sacco-Vanzetti topic.  Therefore, I suggest UNL purchase "Kill Now, Talk Forever." This book is reviewed (?) in Bimonthly Review of Law Books (Jan/Feb 2003) Vol. 14, no. 1]. "Kill Now, Talk Forever: Debating Sacco and Vanzetti" is a 662-page book listed in the Recent Scholarship section (March 2002) of the Journal of American History, p. 1657.(See Newby's letter on Judge Wyzanski (JAH June 2000, p. 321) that rebuts Dr. J. H.Schlegel,SUNY- Buffalo. See Wyzanski below.) WorldCat & RLIN show 84 libraries that own this book, among them these: Columbia Univ., Cornell Univ., Vassar College, Hofstra Law School, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Ohio State Univ., Univ. of California at Irvine, MTSU, UNC (Chapel Hill), UIC, Tarlton Law Library (UTexas), UC Hastings Law Library, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, SIUC, Ball State, Vermont, New Hampshire, George Mason Univ., Virginia Tech, Univ. of Oklahoma, Illinois State, Brandeis Univ.,Emporia State, Univ. of Kansas, Ohio Wesleyan, Florida Atlantic Univ., UNA, UMKC School of Law, George Washington Univ. Law Library, Wesleyan University, NKU (Law), Bucknell,SFSU, EWU, WOU, UCLA,UMASS,M.I.T,Iowa,Vanderbilt, Northern Michigan, Univ. of Louisville,TTU, UMIAMI Law, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, LSU, Utah State, IUB-Law UPENN, NIU, UMICH, MSU, Fordham, BC. "Kill Now, Talk Forever" excerpts key testimony from the Dedham trial transcript and critical opinions from books and articles on Sacco and Vanzetti from 1920 to 2000. Newby creates 52 research topics, each one of which adds sizzle to an enduring debate. Topic #5 documents Newby's epistolary quarrel with Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1988-1991, a challenge that forced Britannica to revise its S-V article and appended Bib. in the 1991 printing. Newby has corresponded with leading scholars on Sacco and Vanzetti:  Francis Russell, Nunzio Pernicone, David Felix, David Kaiser, and Paul Avrich.  This book has an annotated bibliography, maps, photos, and index. "Kill Now, Talk Forever" helps readers find Dr. Pernicone's factual error in the ANB (vol. 19, p. 174, column 2, lines 50-53) and The Oxford Companion to United States History (p. 681). The Oxford Companion has 3 factual errors on S & V (a Berkeley entry). The historical truth about Sacco and Vanzetti is NOT to be found in encyclopedias, in reference books on U. S. history, or in U. S. history textbooks.  "Kill Now, Talk Forever" fits objective of Queens College History Department, namely, "[It] provides tools to do historical research, ways to analyze events from a historical perspective, and access to the rich body of information . . ," on Sacco and Vanzetti. Fourth revision of this book (06/20/2003) adds seven more research topics in Addenda. One new item focuses on "Shouting Fire," a book by Alan M. Dershowitz.  Readers of "Kill Now, Talk Forever" become 21st-century jurors.  Seventh-graders can tell whether Vanzetti's alibi witnesses were telling the truth.  16-year-olds can tell which gun Vanzetti was carrying when he was arrested: (1) Berardelli's gun or (2) the Mogridge gun. Teenagers can also find a serious factual error on Sacco and Vanzetti in Kaiser's 1985 book "Postmortem" (p. 79).  They can even find the factual error a Dean at the New York Law School, James F. Simon, put on page 55 of "The Antagonists." Perceptive readers will be able to identify the PLAGIARIST among the putative Sacco-Vanzetti scholars. Google documents Newby's challenge to Richard Polenberg of Cornell University. (See Customer review, Amazon.com: Letters of S & V; and see Newby's review of Harold Evans's The American Century at bn.com: His Spin on S & V.) Hugh Brogan, Univ. of Essex, gets attention in this book. Did Brogan, in correspondence with Newby, reverse the position he took on S & V in the TLS in 1985? Two times? What is Newby's quarrel with historian Robert A. Divine, Univ. of Texas Emeritus, co- author of America Past and Present, 2002? FACTS: Wyzanski told Francis Russell he received his diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1923.  He took a seminar conducted by Professor Frankfurter in 1930. Later, Justice Frankfurter campaigned to get Wyzanski appointed to the federal bench. NY Times obituary, 9/5/86, quotes Frankfurter's tribute to Wyzanski's brilliant mind. {See summary in B. A. Murphy's book, The Brandeis/ Frankfurter Connection.)  MORE FACTS:  In 1986 Judge Wyzanski wrote to Russell: "I myself am persuaded by your writings that Sacco was guilty." Wyzanski also vouches for the integrity of Williams. the assistant district attorney attacked by Frankfurter (1927) and Kaiser(1985). Judge Wyzanski praises two books by Russell, who declared Sacco and Vanzetti guilty; but he DOES NOT mention the Young/Kaiser book, which declared S & V innocent. [This is the Kaiser book-- published by The University of Massachusetts Press--cited in encyclopedias.] Wyzanski DOES mention his friend from boyhood, Herbert "Brute" Ehrmann, who published two books (1933 and 1969) in attempts to exonerate Sacco and Vanzetti. Authors of U.S history textbooks ignore Wyzanski.  Or they may not know of his letter, a topic in Newby's letter to JAH in June 2000, p. 321. Wyzanski told Russell he testified at both Hiss trials, initially thinking Hiss innocent.  "Kill Now, Talk Forever" lets readers look beyond the myth.  If Frankfurter was wrong--by an inferential reading of Wyzanski--can Dr. Divine be right?  How many authors of U. S. history textbooks have misrepresented the Dedham and Plymouth trials--(1) very few, or (2) most, if not all?  How many fail to mention Vanzetti's Plymouth trial?  Here is what Professor Howard P. Chudacoff says about Sacco and Vanzetti in the Brief 6th edition of "A People and A Nation," p. 426: "The evidence failed to prove their guilt." Using slightly different words, Dr. Divine draws the same conclusion. Richard Newby is deferential to truth but not to flawed professors.  Thus Richard Current, history professor at the Univ. of Illinois (1950s), is more evenhanded on S & V than historians Tindall/Shi. See Dr. Current's noncommittal 99-word summary of S & V (1980). Editor Newby's "target" audience is people who want to know more about one of the most controversial murder trials in the 20th century.  This self-published book is more factual, more accurate, and better balanced than Kaiser's 1985 book by the UMASS Press at Amherst. Why does National Public Radio misrepresent the Sacco-Vanzetti case?  Why has NPR refused to interview David Felix, who twice rebuked Brogan in the TLS?  NPR has interviewed S-V partisans.  Useful #-- 1 888 2807715 (1stBooks Library)-- or www.1stbooks.com   The distinguished retired history professor (Indiana University) has praised this book.  Will the Lee and Labriola book [Famous Crimes Revisited] bear scrutiny?  Can one find Lee/Labriola blunders on S & V? Attributions solid? Plain- spoken and down-to-earth, Newby omits no item that inculpates Sacco and Vanzetti.  But Encyclopaedia Britannica omits inculpatory items.  So does NPR. Why does S-V analysis in the Kennedy/Cohen/Bailey book (American Pageant, 12th ed.) virtually duplicate S-V analysis in the 1st edition of 1956?  Stephen Jay Gould answers:  "Once ensconced in a textbook, misinformation becomes effectively permanent, because textbooks copy from previous texts." (Natural History 3/00, p. 46) [See the false claim and factual errors on p. 254, lines 19-21, in Davidson and Lytle's well-known book, AFTER THE FACT, 4th edition. Note their praise of Y/K book.] Newby has NOTIFIED Davidson and Lytle of these flaws because this book is a textbook in a history seminar. Surely UNL LAW honors Holmes's concept of "the competition of the market."  "Kill Now, Talk Forever" has earned the right to be on the shelf alongside the flawed Young/ Kaiser book. Note that Dr. Starrs says the "Young and Kaiser book,... is crippled..." (Journal of Forensic Sciences--April 1986, p. 650). Meticulously researched, "Kill Now, Talk Forever" takes up historical items not mentioned in Dr. Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me."  [Newby told L. that he (L) stumbled on p. 232.] How does historian P. S. Boyer upstage TINDALL/SHI? Boyer (The Enduring Vision, 2000, p. 699) says recent studies by Russell/Avrich point "to their guilt.") Identify chief flaw in Faragher's The American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History--another reference work that participates in the art of bluffing on the Sacco and Vanzetti topic.  See Pernicone's statement on the need to be "accurate and honest" in the 1982 Boston Library publication--Sacco-Vanzetti: Developments and Reconsiderations (p. 102, line 18). ISBN 0 -75960-792-3 -- OCLC 48072412  LC Control# 2003094255 Acquisitions. Thank you. If Stanford's Professor T. A. Bailey ". . . taught American history to several million students," he misled ALL of them on S. & V.--See The American Pageant,12th ed.,vi. [12 law libraries own Kill Now, Talk Forever.]