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Fox: Poems, 1998-2000

Fox: Poems, 1998-2000

5.0 2
by Adrienne Rich

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"A challenging collection that should more than satisfy [Rich's] large and loyal following."—Washington Post Book World

In this volume, Adrienne Rich pursues her signature themes and takes them further: the discourse between poetry and history, interlocutions within and across gender, dialogues between poets and visual artists, human damages and


"A challenging collection that should more than satisfy [Rich's] large and loyal following."—Washington Post Book World

In this volume, Adrienne Rich pursues her signature themes and takes them further: the discourse between poetry and history, interlocutions within and across gender, dialogues between poets and visual artists, human damages and dignity, and the persistence of utopian visions. Here Rich continues taking the temperature of mind and body in her time in an intimate and yet commanding voice that resonates long after an initial reading. Fox is formidable and moving, fierce and passionate, and one of Rich's most powerful works to date. "Justly celebrated....Rich has long wanted to set her readers' minds blazing...she succeeds."—Publishers Weekly starred review "Intimate, explorative, these are poems with a millennial feel, at once retrospective and forward-looking."—Washington Post Book World

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Intimate,explorative,these are poems with a millennial feel,at once retrospective and forward-looking.
Often unfairly criticized for the polemical tinge of her work, Rich has been the sexual and social conscience of the poetry world for nearly fifty years. She is responsible for some of the few successful political poems of the '60s, and recent poems have expressed her continuous slow burn over a host of social ills that stubbornly refuse to be solved. Although she has expressed disappointment with the limits of language, her poems, which can be elliptical and abstruse, escape the pitfalls of the usual games. In the title poem, the speaker cries out against sexual frustration and loneliness: "Badly I needed/ a vixen for the long time none had come near me. // I needed recognition from a triangulated face." Whatever your personal perspectives, these images refer to universal human needs, to the helplessness we feel expressing love and pleading for a response. In many of these rewarding poems, the answers are as close by as a dear friend. Rich's explorations of intimacy and community continue to be among her greatest strengths.
—Stephen Whited
Publishers Weekly
The justly celebrated Rich (Diving into the Wreck, The Fact of a Doorframe, etc.) has been publishing verse now for over 50 years; her oeuvre has included 1950s formalism, some of the subtlest protest verse of the 1960s and broadly successful volumes in verse and prose that helped set the agenda for 1970s feminism and gay and lesbian liberation. Rich's recent style developed slowly throughout the 1990s comes to full fruition here, conveying her familiar attentions to social injustice and intense introspection with and a sometimes harsh, fragmented, versatile line whose sources include George Oppen and Anglo-Saxon accentual verse. Rich praises, commemorates and questions friends and public figures, while thinking about what political action means; lines and stanzas glide over West Coast landscape, revive or revise history, and interrogate the poet's frustration with a profligate, unjust society. "On the bare slope where we were driven," Rich insists in "Messages," "The most personal feelings became historical." One of several powerful poems for, to and about unnamed friends or mentors offers "A lighthouse keeper's ethics:/ you tend for all or none/ for this you might set your furniture on fire." With her emotional complexity, her scratched-up sonic surfaces and her strong ethical commitments, Rich has long wanted to set her readers' minds blazing: more often than not, in her new work, she succeeds. (Oct.) Forecast: Rich continues to combine a large popular following with large-scale academic attention and high-brow acclaim, on a scale almost no other poet can manage. Stronger in itself than her 1998 Midnight Salvage, this volume should get more help from Rich's recent collection of essaysand interviews, Arts of the Possible. Rich's first book, A Change of World, made her the Yale Younger Poet for 1951; that book's 50th anniversary may further boost media coverage. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
One of a handful of major American poets whose every new work is a cause for excitement, Rich is as stunning in her use of skewed, penetrating language as she is implacable in her politics of liberation. Art and conviction have always mixed well in her work a real accomplishment and they continue to do so here. But her arguments are perhaps less edgy, her tone a little more malleable than in previous collections. As she declares in "Regardless," a poem about loving a man, "we'd love/ regardless of manifestoes I wrote or signed." Still, this is vigorous, engaged poetry, as exemplified by "Victory," which compares the ailing Tory Dent to "the Nike of Samothrace/ on a staircase wings in blazing/ backdraft," and the spare "Veteran's Day," which mourns humankind's violent history while observing "how the beneficiary/ of atrocities yearns toward innocence." And then there's the title poem, a telescoped look at the female identity that is at once witty and searing. Neither a departure nor a radical advancement, this is instead another lovely augmentation adding immeasurably to Rich's panoply of works. Highly recommended. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author

Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes a National Book Award for poetry for Tonight, No Poetry Will Serve, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 1994, and a National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for Diving Into the Wreck. That volume, published in 1973, is considered her masterwork. Ms. Rich’s other volumes of poetry include The Dream of a Common Language, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, An Atlas of the Difficult World, The School Among the Ruins, and Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. Her prose includes the essay collections On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Blood, Bread, and Poetry; an influential essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” and the nonfiction book Of Woman Born, which examines the institution of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. In 2006, Rich was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. In 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award.

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