<< 1 >>
Summary: inspiring chronicle of an inspiring life
Review: I should preface this by telling you that I am fanatically devoted to Muriel Rukeyser's work and so may present a somewhat extreme perspective. As a high-schooler, it is one of my deepest hopes that my generation will awaken to this amazing and underappreciated woman. As Muriel Rukeyser's poems are monuments, so is her life itself. She was a tremendous force for artistic vision and social conscience. As a reflection of such a life, this book could hardly go wrong, and it is indeed intensely thought-provoking and inspiring.
I found the organization of the book to be effective on the whole. Rather than a single narrative, it is a collection of writings from a range of people including Adrienne Rich, and Muriel Rukeyser's son, William Rukeyser. It's divided into five parts: 1. Poetics and Vision; 2. Activism and Teaching; 3. The Body, Feminist Critique, and the Poet as Mother; 4. Poetry of Witness; 5. Remembering Muriel Rukeyser. For the most part the divisions seemed somewhat arbitrary, but of course dividing a life into such categories is a near impossible task. I enjoyed the mix of literary critique with personal stories. There were also a surprisingly large number of poems about/inspired by Muriel Rukeyser, and these were of mixed quality. On the whole, the book admittedly had it's hits and it's misses, but it was absolutely worth it for the hits. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about Muriel Rukeyser (and that should, of course, be everyone).
<< 1 >>