THE CRY OF THE UNEMPLOYED.
BY GERALD MASSEY.
Title:The Cry of the Unemployed
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:Jan 2, 1864
This republication during the Cotton Famine of a poem by the famous Chartist poet, Gerald Massey, is significant in that its author was a known radical and republican, nevertheless well respected as a writer and a poet. The poem is bitter in its description of the life of the unemployed, and indeed each stanza ends with a refrain of morbid intent. In various ways the poem suggests that the effects of unemployment go beyond mere second-class citizenship and approach actual dehumanisation, one stanza suggests even the right to a romantic life appears to be denied the poor. For the many who were old enough to remember the ‘Hungry Forties’, when Massey established his literary and political credentials, this apparent hyperbole was resonant and relevant. For more works by this fine writer (and several others) see https://minorvictorianwriters.org.uk/index.htm. – SR