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Out of Silence: Selected Poems

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9780810150157: Out of Silence: Selected Poems
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Out of Silence: Muriel Rukeyser: Selected Poems edited by Kate Daniels

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From Publishers Weekly:

During her lifetime, Rukeyser (1913-1980) was sometimes derided for affecting a "period mood," and this collection, based on the 1979 Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser , unfortunately reinforces that perception. Even with the early work ("Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry"), Rukeyser's poetics were unmediated by self-scrutiny, which would have allowed her to cut self-indulgent language. She has been praised as the strongest poet of her generation to represent the politics of the left, but some of the passages (such as the couplet comparing Plato's rings, Homer's chain of gold and Lenin's "cry of Dare We Win") appear politically naive at this distance from the turbulent times in which they were written. Although there are many fine cadences ("And in my body feel the seasons grow, / Who is it in the dim room? Who is there?"), too often one senses the undertone of the more forceful voices of Jeffers, Eliot and MacLeish, acknowledged influences. Daniels's ( The Niobe Poems ) introduction would have better established a critical framework for Rukeyser's work had she presented a discussion of the poet's technique and a detailed biographical portrait.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Five decades before political correctness became a topic of genteel debate among academics, Rukeyser was raising her poetic voice "to answer the silence of the weak." Her muse demanded that she pay as much attention to the shared, literal world as the world of literature, so, like Whitman, she personalized the public events of her time: the Depression, the Spanish Civil War, the struggles of class and gender ("I hear the singing of the lives of women, / The clear mystery, the offering and pride"). This collection showcases a lifelong effort to deal squarely with large social forces as they rippled through one woman's acute sensibility. Twelve years after her death, the poet's desire to get past "all evasion's wishes" seems no less timely.
- Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, N.Y.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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