Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
To a Bourgeois Litterateur
(Who referred to a group of agitators as “Professional Hoboes”)

By Max Eastman

(Editor of “The Masses,” 1883–1969)
HOW old, my friend, is that fine-pointed pen
  Wherewith in smiling quietude you trace
  The maiden maxims of your writing-place,
And o’er this gripped and mortal-sweating den
  And battle-pit of hunger, now and then        5
Dip out, with nice and intellectual grace,
The faultless wisdoms of a nurtured race
  Of pale-eyed, pink, and perfect gentlemen?
How long have art and wit and poetry,
  With all their power, been content, like you,        10
  To gild the smiling fineness of the few,
To filmy-curtain what they dare not see
In multudinous reality—
  The rough and bloody soul of what is true?

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