Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems, 2007-2010

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems, 2007-2010

by Adrienne Rich
     
 

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In the intimate address of "Axel Avákar," the black humor of "Quarto," and the underground journey of "Powers of Recuperation," compressed lyrics flash among larger scenarios where images, dialogues, blues, and song spiral into political visions. Adrienne Rich has said, "I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book."

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Overview

In the intimate address of "Axel Avákar," the black humor of "Quarto," and the underground journey of "Powers of Recuperation," compressed lyrics flash among larger scenarios where images, dialogues, blues, and song spiral into political visions. Adrienne Rich has said, "I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book."

from "Ballade of the Poverties"

There's the poverty of wages wired for the funeral you

Can't get to the poverty of bodies lying unburied

There's the poverty of labor offered silently on the curb

The poverty of yard sale scrapings spread

And rejected the poverty of eviction, wedding bed out on street

Prince let me tell you who will never learn through words

There are poverties and there are poverties.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
Rich is one of the greatest American poets of the past half century...attested to both by the extraordinary power of her poems and by the laurels she's racked up.... the events of our blood-dimmed decade have afforded Rich a subject for some of her strongest material.— Sara Marcus
Sara Marcus - San Francisco Chronicle
“Rich is one of the greatest American poets of the past half century...attested to both by the extraordinary power of her poems and by the laurels she's racked up.... the events of our blood-dimmed decade have afforded Rich a subject for some of her strongest material.”
Library Journal
Thankfully, the more strident feminist tone that can mar some of Rich's poetry is muted in her latest collection. Her lesbianism isn't so much stated as implied, which gives several of the strongest poems a subtle eroticism. It also allows Rich's mastery of the evocative metaphor to shine through her poetry. Take the title poem, a warm though understated love poem, which works by innuendo to a shocking ending and is as compelling as any in Rich's oeuvre. Only a few of the poems, like the antiwar "Reading the Iliad…," become shrill. Winner of numerous awards, including the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Rich uses these latest poems to look back on past events and relationships—both actual and imagined. VERDICT One can sense Rich's nostalgia for her youth and apprehension at the frailty of old age. But there's no whining here. Mostly, these are poems of an aging poet (Rich was born in 1929) who is still gifted with sight, insight, and the poetic gifts necessary to express both.—Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393079678
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/17/2011
Pages:
89
Product dimensions:
8.74(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.54(d)

Meet the Author

Adrienne Rich is the author of thirty books of poetry and prose. Her many honors include the National Book Foundation's 2006 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the National Book Award. She lives in California.

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