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This chapter attempts a reparative telling of queer poetic history. It traces how the North American poetry has imagined, and has rendered imaginable, transformations of self and community. The chapter describes four topoi and representative poets that help illustrate poetry's subjunctive historicity: Queer Identification, Queer Influence, Queer Resistance, and Queer Horizons. Romantic outlawry stretches back to French nineteenth-century visionary Arthur Rimbaud, who influenced later queer verse like that of sex worker and thief Jean Genet. Such queer poetic resistance need not be reduced to romantic individualism, though. Indeed, Jean Genet's and Allen Ginsberg's work serves as reminders that social and juridico-legal institutions mandate sexual and gender outliers' marginalization. The dream, memory, and futurity di Prima writes about are the building blocks of poetry's subjunctive history. Instead of disclosing a particular truth or prescribing a course of action, poetry trains readers to see the world differently, queerly.
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