Hugh MacDiarmid and Charles Tomlinson certainly make strange bedfellows for a comparative study, yet by placing MacDiarmid's "Third Hymn to Lenin" in dialogue with Tomlinson's poems "Prometheus" and "Assassin," written in opposition to the Russian Revolution, a common approach to the question of poetry's social efficacy emerges. The central issue in these works is not superficial expression of political allegiance. Instead, I demonstrate an affirmation of poetry as "a way of happening," whereby poetic form functions as a means of rehearsing the principles by which a better world can be built.