The Life of Poetry

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Current Books, 1949 - Literary Collections - 232 pages
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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paulagraph - LibraryThing

I am fascinated by Rukeyser's personal story & her engagement with history. Although her thinking in these essays is sometimes fuzzy & her use of abstractions, such as truth, reality, imagination ... Read full review

Review: The Life of Poetry

User Review  - Catherine Theis - Goodreads

So inspiring! If anyone is feeling blue about poetry, and what's the use anyway, she should read this. Read full review

Contents

The Universe of Poetry A History of Images
21
The Security of the Imagination Gesture
27
Toward the Most Human Intensity within Form
41
Copyright

9 other sections not shown

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About the author (1949)

During her five-decade literary career, Rukeyser provoked varying critical response; yet her passionate contribution to the contemporary literary and political scene cannot be doubted. An outspoken "spokespoet," she was always where the political action was. As a young reporter from Vassar, she covered the 1932 Scottsboro Trial; some forty years later, she was jailed for her anti-Vietnam protests in Washington, D.C. So closely aligned is her activism to her art that several reviewers believe that the history of midcentury America can be garnered from her poetry. Yet, along with her outrage, Rukeyser's poetry is marked by optimism in a way that is reminiscent of Walt Whitman's verse. It is as though she believed that out of the pain of conflict will come a healing and transforming revelation. During her career, Rukeyser moved from a reliance on simple declaratives to a more sophisticated, private use of language; and, though she continued to deal with politics all her life, later poems also treat personal subjects---her role as mother and daughter, her sexual feelings for women and men, the illness that led to her death. From beginning to end, she was honored for her contribution to poetry: with the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1935 for Theory of Flight to the tribute paid her at the annual New York Quarterly Poetry Day in 1977.

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