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Ruth Stone has rightly been called America’s Akhmatova, and she is considered "Mother Poet" to many contemporary writers. In this, her eighth volume, she writes with crackling intelligence, interrogating history from the vantage point of an aging and impoverished woman. Wise, sardonic, crafty, and ...
Ruth Stone has rightly been called America’s Akhmatova, and she is considered "Mother Poet" to many contemporary writers. In this, her eighth volume, she writes with crackling intelligence, interrogating history from the vantage point of an aging and impoverished woman. Wise, sardonic, crafty, and misleadingly simple, Stone loves heavy themes but loathes heavy poems.
In the longer view it doesn’t matter.
However, it’s that having lived, it matters.
So that every death breaks you apart.
You find yourself weeping at the door
of your own kitchen, overwhelmed
by loss. And you find yourself weeping
as you pass the homeless person
head in hands resigned on a cement
step, the wire basket on wheels right there.
Like stopped film, or a line of Vallejo,
or a sketch of the mechanics of a wing
by Leonardo. All pauses in space,
a violent compression of meaning
in an instant within the meaningless.
Even staring into the dim shapes
at the farthest edge; accepting that blur.
"Ruth Stone’s work is alternately witty, bawdy, touching, and profound. But never pompous. Her honesty and originality give her writing a sense of youth and newness because she looks at the world so clearly, without all the detritus of social convention the rest of us pick up along the way… Her writing proves her to be simply inspired."—USA Today
Ruth Stone was born in Virginia in 1915. She is author of eight books of poems and recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1959, after her husband committed suicide, she was forced to raise three daughters alone. For twenty years she traveled the US, teaching creative writing at many universities, finally settling at SUNY Binghamton. She lives in Vermont.
Winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Poetry
|The Professor Cries||3|
|Always Your Shadow||5|
|Looking at Your Hand||6|
|In the Next Galaxy||8|
|Metaphors of the Tree||9|
|Returning to the City of Your Childhood||11|
|Leaving My Roommates in New York||12|
|This Strangeness in My Life||15|
|White on White||17|
|Entering the Student's Poem||19|
|March 15, 1998||22|
|Visions from My Office Window||23|
|Again - Now||25|
|The Electric Fan and The Dead Man (or the widow as a useful object toward the end of the century)||26|
|As It Is||28|
|The Eye within the Eye||30|
|Always on the Train||31|
|Bits of Information||32|
|A Woodchuck Lesson||33|
|Parts of Speech||37|
|Before the Blight||38|
|What Meets the Eye||40|
|Junction in the Midwest||41|
|On the Slow Train Passing Through||44|
|Eden, Then and Now||45|
|Don't Miss It||48|
|At the Ready||49|
|That Other War||50|
|Tip of the Iceberg||51|
|Napping on the Greyhound||52|
|Reading the Russians||53|
|What We Have||55|
|What We Don't Know||59|
|When I Was Thirty-five You Took My Photograph||61|
|To Give This a Name, Astonishing||63|
|At Eighty-three She Lives Alone||65|
|A Good Question||66|
|Getting to Know You||67|
|From Boston to Binghamton||68|
|Sorrow and No Sorrow||70|
|Points of Vision||71|
|The Interesting Way of Life||75|
|Albany Bus Station||81|
|Cousin Francis Speaks Out||82|
|On the Mountain||87|
|Half Sight in Middlebury||89|
|Again I Find You||91|
|To Try Again||94|
|Not Expecting an Answer||95|
|About the Author||99|
Posted February 15, 2011
No text was provided for this review.