Selected Poems

ISBN: 1931082588
ISBN 13: 9781931082587
By: Muriel Rukeyser Adrienne Rich

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Currently Reading Poems Poetry Poetry English Poetry Poetics Queer Teaching To Read Unindexed Writers

About this book

"Wherever there are hot spots that journalists blow up on the front page — strikes, massacres, revolutions, tortures, wars, prisoners and marches — there is Rukeyser, in the very front line, a spokesperson, or spokespoet perhaps, speaking up loudly for freedom in the world." - Jascha KesslerMuriel Rukeyser (1913-80) published her first book, the powerfully experimental "Theory of Flight," at age twenty-two, and went on to an adventurous and prolific career as poet, translator, and political activist. Her expansive energies sought a poetry in which politics, geography, sexuality, mythology, and autobiography could find fused and fluid expression. From her early, brilliantly cinematic "Poem Out of Childhood" through excerpts from her long wartime "Letter to the Front" to her late "Resurrection of the Right Side," written after her stroke, this selection represents the many sides and selves of a major poet.

Reader's Thoughts


don't normally read a lot of poetry, but someone in my writers group lent me this, and it looks good....mind you, the cover's different - mine has a striking photo of the poet, but it is edited by Adrienne Rich, so I'm assuming it's the same book.Starts well:Breathe-in experience, breathe out poetry :Not Angles, angels..a terrific, strong blast from across the Atlantic. I liked it so much I didn't want to give it back, and will now have to buy to have on my shelves permanently.


muriel rukeyser just might save lyric poetry for me. i've been so averse to the easy line, any kind of coherent syntax or description that leaves nothing to the reader to play with on a linguistic level. however, rukeyser is drawing me back towards the lyric with images that actually take off from the imaginary and land in metaphor. her language is also concise on a level that demonstrates an ear tuned to the war machine's sounds in the 20th century. of course it is her ability to fuse the personal with the political that is the most inspiring and heartbreaking.this edition has an introduction by adrienne rich that gives a great bio and places her pretty well in the scope of 20th century poets. the book is divided into selections from the books of poetry that she published (she also wrote biographies, articles and plays).


Interesting. Ahead of its time. Not entirely compelling, though. In general, however, I don't like compilations and this is sort of the worst kind - a few poems from every part of her career.

Liya P-r

Her life story was incredible and so are her poems. This was my introduction to Rukeyser and looking forward to reading more of her work. She transcends the continuum of time and speaks to a new generation of readers.

Gerry LaFemina

This is the essential work of this great American poet. Haven't read her outside the few selections I sometimes teach, and it was so much fun to spend 166 pages with her finest poems. Rich did a wonderful job selecting these poems.


Too expensive


I don't think this is her best work. I'd search for the volume that has King's Mountain in it. That's a beautiful poem.

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