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Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth: Poems 2004-2006 Paperback – May 4, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rich, who won the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1951 and who has published more than 25 books since, continues, in this unsparing collection, to make inquiries into real injustice and fables of its vanquishment: loose floorboards quitting in haste we pried/ up to secrete the rash imagination/ of a time to come. The penchant that this great American poet has for dating her books and her individual poems feels less like an attempt to situate them within history than a means to shock the self, and readers, into recognizing what has passed, and is passing: smolder's legacy on a boulder traced. Rich's stark, intimate voice seems to speak for a life lived at once at the margins and at the center. Some poems linger in diaristic dailiness (My neighbor moving/ in a doorframe moment's/ reach of her hand); others light out for the territory where possibilities are extinguished, and born: beyond remorse, disillusion, fear of death// or life/ rage/ for order, rage for destruction//—beyond this love which stirs/ the air every time she walks into the room. (Oct.)
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Review

Here are blues refrains, improvisations, and the sound of birdsong. Mixed in with poems about prison life, about torture, about Wallace Stevens, it forms a potent volume. "
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393334783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393334784
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,060,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Khristian E. Kay on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is Adrienne Rich! I have been a fan of her poetry for many years (my favorite being her 1970s poetry "The Dream of a Common Language"). Her latest collection doe snot miss she is still experimenting with formal styles yet seems to have a preference for more modern free verse. Her poems have always had a tinge of the political with personal reminiscences tossed in for flavor. These are not as accessible as her early work which either states that she has evolved as a writer and we have not or she is experimenting with a common figurative language that she hopes we will aspire to. Poetry, goes without saying (though I just did), need to be reread and reread again as it reflects our own personalities at different times within our lives. By doing this it becomes timeless and Rich has once again demonstrated that.
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Format: Hardcover
The poems here are more elliptical than Rich's early work with which I'm most familiar. Some are so dense as to be impenetrable, while others read like scattered fragments swept together into a jumble. In most, though, there's a phrase or two that shines out like a jewel. I suspect that their more hidden charms will become apparent on re-reading...
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Format: Paperback
Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth is not a linear narrative easily read in a few sittings, and unlike many novels and guidebooks, Rich's work cannot be quickly digested and encapsulated for another party. However, she wields language as a master craftswoman, uniquely reflects and validates my own experience, and invites me to expand myself with her observations of places unfamiliar to me, or, just as gratifying, with new observations of more familiar places. Rich is a keen and sympathetic observer of the world around and within her and I discover fresh or edifying insight each time I sift her poetry. A welcome addition to my library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Adrienne Rich---now in her late seventies---gives us another terrific book of poems dated 2004-2006. She returns to writing some formal verses, but free verse now seems her most natural form. She even tries some translations. This book is most interesting when she takes us effortlessly, it seems,from the personal to the political.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Makes you work. Doesn't let up a lot. A touch on the cerebral side.

"Somebody should probably get that." They hung up.
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