Archive for May 1st, 2019

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

I.W.W.* by Donald M. Crocker

Sons of the sansculottes,
Savage, erect, disdainful,
Proud of their pariah estate,
They return to the civilization that has cast them out,
Hate for hate and blow for blow.
Society denied them all life’s sweet, soft, comfortable things,
And so society raised up unto itself its destroyers.

Reckless of the jails, of the policemen’s clubs, of the lynching parties made up of frightened good citizens,
Cheerfully accepting the anathema of all reputable people and lovers of law and order,
They laugh aloud and sing out of their little red book
Blasphemous ribaldries against all the gods and all the masters.
(Beware, gods and masters, of rebels who laugh and sing!)
Onward to the conquest of earth these outlaws press,
Pausing by the corpses of their martyrs only long enough
To utter, grim-lipped, “We remember.”

*I.W.W. – Industrial Workers of the World, founded in 1905 in Chicago, USA, is an international labour union. Its members are known as Wobblies (or Wobs). Donald M. Crocker was a member of the International Typographical Union and also an occasional editor of the Industrial Worker.

From: Gomez, Manuel (ed.), Poems for Workers: An Anthology, 1925, The Daily Worker Publishing Co: Chicago, p. 35.

Date: 1917

By: Donald M. Crocker (18??-19??)