The Poetry Wars of the 1970s–1990s, in which an avowedly anticapitalist poetic avant-garde defined itself in opposition to what it took to be a formulaic mainstream verse culture, were deeply informed by the rise and fall of the New Left. In "Poetry and the Politics of the Subject", Ron Silliman extends his earlier claim that the field of poetry constitutes a surrogate social struggle to argue that distinct poetic forms constitute discrete social struggles for different social subjects. The issues raised by Audre Lorde's brief poem take us to the heart of contentious contemporary debates about the race/class problematic in the wake of the "Poetry Wars," while illuminating how Lorde's socialism might inform her black feminist political commitments. As liberation movements faded from the streets, American poetry provided a cultural proxy for their concerns in politically charged theoretical debates.