Language Poetry, which emerged in the 1950’s in New York and San Francisco, is known for its ambiguous, allusive experimentation with language in an attempt to resist or break free from the mental and emotional constraints that society, and capitalism in particular has placed on language to maintain control. Albert Gelpi of The Southern Review describes this idea: “Language serves in such a scheme of chance and determination, of relative values and closed systems, as the material base or medium within and through which subjectivity constructs social reality and social reality constructs subjectivity (no longer self or identity).”

Language is what is used to build society and society influences new thought. This subjectivity is ingrained into language and its rules, thereby limiting its potential. Language Poets attempt to strip language of all its baggage—to free writing from its subjectivity and delve into the language for what it is—letters.

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