Towards Democracy

Edward CARPENTER (1844 - 1929)

“Civilization sinks and swims, but the old facts remain—the sun smiles, knowing well its strength.” Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) wrote his prose poem, Towards Democracy, styled after Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, in a summer burst of creativity. “Early in 1881, no doubt as the culmination and result of struggles and experiences that had been going on, I became conscious that a mass of material was forming within me, imperatively demanding expression . . .” An English intellectual, Carpenter was in rebellion against Victorian prudery. Railing against Industrialization’s dehumanization, he preached a return to a simple life in harmony with Nature. Towards Democracy reads like Beat poetry—wild flowing word associations, moments of insight so clear they hurt, interspersed with pure rant! Included is an essay Carpenter wrote in 1894 explaining his intent and feelings in writing Towards Democracy. - Summary by Sue Anderson

Genre(s): Culture & Heritage, Poetry

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface: A Note on Towards Democracy Sue Anderson
00:21:50
Play 01 I - IX Sue Anderson
00:27:17
Play 02 X - XVI Sue Anderson
00:23:20
Play 03 XVII - XXIV Sue Anderson
00:17:10
Play 04 XXV - XXXI Sue Anderson
00:18:28
Play 05 XXXII - XXXVI Sue Anderson
00:14:52
Play 06 XXXVII - XL Sue Anderson
00:22:43
Play 07 XLI - XLVI Sue Anderson
00:15:51
Play 08 XLVII - LI Sue Anderson
00:17:56
Play 09 LII - LV Sue Anderson
00:17:16
Play 10 LVI - LX Sue Anderson
00:13:36
Play 11 LXI - LXV Sue Anderson
00:14:10
Play 12 LXVI - LXX Sue Anderson
00:10:37