Battle Hymns of Toil & Quivara | Covington "Covami" Hall | SA1283

Battle Hymns of Toil & Quivara | Covington "Covami" Hall | SA1283

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Covington “Covami” Hall (1871–1952) was a labor activist, poet, editor, and teacher associated with the Industrial Workers of the World. He published numerous journals.
Contained herein are two rare volumes, first published in 1946 and printed in facsimile. They represent the last publications released during the author’s lifetime.
Battle Hymns of Toil (1946) was Hall’s final collection of poetry. While it often reflects some of the more violent and rebellious attitudes expressed through his life, notably absent are his widely reprinted poem “Might is Right” and multiple poems dedicated to Lucifer as a rebel hero.
Four poems by Covington Hall, under the heading “The Lost City of Quivera,” were initially published in The Voice of the People (New Orleans, LA) on September 25, 1913. They were later reprinted in The Socialist and Labor Star (Huntington, W. Va.) on October 10, 1913. All four were republished under the title “The Lost City of Quivira” in his own journal Rebellion: Made up of Dreams and Dynamite (New Orleans, LA), Vol. I No. 12 (June, 1916). The poems featured in both collections were titled “The Vision,” “The Trial,” “Brothers!,” and “To Arms!”.
Quivara: The Quest of Alvarez was released as a chapbook in 1946 by Lilith Lorraine’s Avalon Press of Rogers, Arkansas. Lilith, one of the many pen names of Mary Maude Dunn Wright (1894–1967), published science fiction and fantasy stories starting in the 1920s. In the 1940s, she established the Avalon National Poetry Shrine and published works by herself and others.

"Covington Hall’s Battle Hymns of Toil are not happy ballads, but poems of anger, protest and despair. Set in an American era when a vast number of men worked and somehow survived by the sweat of their brows and the strength of their backs. Theirs was a workplace of abject labor and paltry remuneration. Few today of their descendants can imagine the labors of the past before it became a world of computer keyboards and buttons to push on cell phones. These poems provide a glimpse of those times."
—R. N. Taylor


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