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


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Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth: Poems 2004-2006 + Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010 + The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004
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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: 8 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,939,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.” (Sunday Star Ledger)

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."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rob Szarka on January 23, 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Keyes on June 1, 2008
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: 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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