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By Stephen Collis

Between the 16th and 19th centuries nearly all of the English universal lands have been enclosed, by means of decree and by way of strength, depriving groups in their independence and self-sufficiency. The resistance to capitalism’s “primitive accumulation,” registered in routine peasant revolts and night assaults on hedges and fences, didn't stem the tide of what we now name “privatization” – however it spilled over into Romanticism’s personal advocacy of a type of literary commons. Underground in poetry because the 19th century, the struggle opposed to enclosure resurfaces this day amidst carrying on with accumulation and a renascent experience of the commons less than globalization.

In The Commons we wander the English nation-state with the so-called mad peasant poet John Clare, choose wild fruit with Henry David Thoreau, and comb the Lake District with a number of authors of Romantic courses and excursions, undermining William Wordsworth’s proprietary declare to the sector. someplace alongside the way in which Robert Frost’s wall falls down, the Zapatistas make their visual appeal, and Gerrard Winstanley reclaims the
earth as a “Common Treasury.”

This moment variation comprises the essay “Of Blackberries and the Poetic Commons.”

Stephen Collis is a weather justice activist and a professor of poetry at Simon Fraser University.


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The Commons by Stephen Collis


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