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Fox: Poems 1998-2000 (Norton Paperback) Paperback – March 17, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From 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 essays and 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, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Paperback
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (March 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393323773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393323771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) is an American poet, writer, feminist thinker, and activist in progressive causes. In a career spanning seven decades she wrote and published two dozen volumes of poetry and over a half-dozen of prose. Rich's poetry includes the collections Diving Into the Wreck, 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 work includes the collections On Lies, Secrets, & Silence; Blood, Bread, & Poetry; an influential essay, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence," and Of Woman Born, a scholarly examination of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. She received the National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for Diving Into the Wreck, and was a finalist an additional three times, in 1956, 1967, and 1991. Other honors include a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1994, the Academy of American Poets' Wallace Stevens Award, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation, the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award, and the Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. In 1997 she turned down the National Medal for the Arts to protest the growing concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands, writing to the NEA that "anyone familiar with my work from the early Sixties on knows that I believe in art's social presence--as breaker of official silences, as voice for those whose voices are disregarded, and as a human birthright."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Althea on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Adrienne Rich's poetry is a challenge. It isn't that her use of language is unduly complex or scholarly--it's more that it is so pared down; pointed, arch, and epigrammatic, without resorting to false witticism. Her poems often seem written in a sort of personal code, as so little refers to so much.

The poems in "Fox" are true to form. Though not especially complicated on the surface, her meanings are perplexingly INTERIOR; and that is where the real work of understanding her must take place. In response to what Rich has demanded of herself, the reader is called upon to open up both intellect and heart, and to make leaps in imaginative connectivity--poetically, politically, philosophically, personally. It's not always easy, and thus you have readers who will just dismiss Rich--the dismissals come from students assigned her work: "boring"; from male critics: "strident feminist"; from younger poets: "outdated academic"; from conservative readers: "left-wing lesbian who's out of touch with mainstream values". None of these descriptions are accurate, but unfortunately it is thus that a little masterpiece like "Fox" has only one review here on Amazon.

"Fox", like all of Rich's books, showcases her acute observations of cultural signals couched in personal disclosures. The poems usually call for several re-readings before her intentions come clear. A poem like "Waiting for You at the Mystery Spot" addresses multi-culturalism, family values, ecology, false and real spiritualism, and the needs and fears inherent in human love, all within the framework of waiting on a bench at a tourist attraction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Readeratheart on October 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is to be read by any one who loves Adrienne Rich. There are particular poems which really impress and touch your heart. Nevertheless, if you want to make a choice between the latest book, "A School Among the Ruins" I'd suggest you to read A School. But still Foz has its own stature.
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Fox: Poems 1998-2000 (Norton Paperback)
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