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"Trust Rich, a clarion poet of conscience, to get the fractured timbre of the times just right."--Booklist, starred review In this new collection Adrienne Rich confronts dislocations and upheavals in the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The title poem, in a young schoolteacher's voice, evokes the lessons that children ("Not of course here") learn amid violence and hatred, "when the whole town flinches / blood on the undersole thickening to glass." "Usonian Journals 2000" intercuts faces and conversations, building to a dystopic/utopic vision. Throughout these fierce and musical poems, Rich traces the imprint of a public crisis on individual experience: personal lives bent by collective realities, language itself held to account.
Relationships—partings/reconciliations, solidarities/ruptures, trust/betrayal, exposure/withdrawal—are the deep fabric of this forceful work. In the intimate address of "Axel Avákar," the black humor of "Quarto," and the underground journey of "Powers of Recuperation," compressed lyrics flash among larger scenarios where images, dialogues, blues, and song spiral into political visions. Adrienne Rich has said, "I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book." from "Ballade of the Poverties" There's the poverty of wages wired for the funeral you Can't get to the poverty of bodies lying unburied There's the poverty of labor offered silently on the curb The poverty of yard sale scrapings spread And rejected the poverty of eviction, wedding bed out on street Prince let me tell you who will never learn through words There are poverties and there are poverties.
"Adrienne Rich's new prose collection could have been titled The Essential Rich."—Women's Review of Books These essays trace a distinguished writer's engagement with her time, her arguments with herself and others. "I am a poet who knows the social power of poetry, a United States citizen who knows herself irrevocably tangled in her society's hopes, arrogance, and despair," Adrienne Rich writes. The essays in Arts of the Possible search for possibilities beyond a compromised, degraded system, seeking to imagine something else. They call on the fluidity of the imagination, from poetic vision to social justice, from the badlands of political demoralization to an art that might wound, that may open scars when engaged in its work, but will finally suture and not tear apart. This volume collects Rich's essays from the last decade of the twentieth century, including four earlier essays, as well as several conversations that go further than the usual interview. Also included is her essay explaining her reasons for declining the National Medal for the Arts. "The work is inspired and inspiring."—Alicia Ostriker "[S]o clear and clean and thorough. I learn from her again and again."—Grace Paley
Author : Jeannette E. Riley
ISBN : 9781611177008
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 67.3 MB
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Among the most celebrated American poets of the past half century, Adrienne Rich was the recipient of awards ranging from the Bollingen Prize, to the National Book Award, to the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. In Understanding Adrienne Rich, Jeannette E. Riley assesses the full scope of Rich’s long career from 1957 to her death in 2012 through a chronological exploration of her poetry and prose. Beginning with Rich’s first two formally traditional collections, published in the late 1950s, then moving to the increasingly radical collections of the 1960s and 1970s, Riley details the evolution of Rich’s feminist poetics as she investigated issues of identity, sexuality, gender, the desire to reclaim women’s history, the dream of a common language, and a separate community for women. Riley then tracks how Rich’s writing shifted outward from the 1980s and 1990s to the end of her career as she evaluated her own life and place within her society. Rich examined her country’s history as well, asking readers to consider what responsibility each person has—individually and communally—for changing the conditions under which we live. This book documents Rich’s developing charge that poetry carries the ability to create social change and engage people in the democratic process. Throughout, Understanding Adrienne Rich interweaves explications of Rich’s poetry with her prose, offering a close look at the development of the author’s voice from formalist poet, to feminist visionary, to citizen poet. In doing so, this volume provides a survey of Rich’s career and her impact on American literature and politics.
Author : Karen F. Stein
ISBN : 9789463511674
Genre : Education
File Size : 33.57 MB
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In her six-decade long writing career Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) addressed, with sagacity and probing honesty, most of the significant issues of her lifetime. A poet of finely tuned craft, she won numerous prizes, awards, and honorary degrees, and famously rejected the prestigious National Medal for the Arts in 1997. She wrote twenty-five volumes of poetry and seven non-fiction books as she combined the roles of poet, scholar, theorist, and activist. Rich wrote passionately and powerfully about major 20th and early 21st century concerns such as feminism, racism, sexism, the Vietnam War, Marxism, militarism, the growing income disparities in the U.S., and other social issues. Her works ask important questions about how we should act, and what we should believe. They imagine new ways to deal with the social and political challenges of the twentieth century. Setting her work in the context of her life and American politics and culture during her lifetime, this book explores Rich’s poetic and personal journey from conservative, dutiful follower of cultural and poetic traditions to challenging questioner and critic, from passivity and powerlessness to activist, theorist, and acclaimed “poet of the oppositional imagination.”
This collection of brand new essays by a leading team of experts encourages readers to appreciate the rich formal, thematic, and ethnic diversity and inclusivity of post-war American poetry. It provides fresh critical perspectives on, and ways of reading, familiar poets such as Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.