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Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010 Hardcover – January 17, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 89 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1St Edition edition (January 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393079678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393079678
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rich writes, “I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book.” The critically acclaimed poet of 30 books of poetry and prose fills her latest retrospective collection with poems that express an intimate understanding of life, death, and resilience with recurring images of ice, blood, and bodies. The opening poem, “Waiting for Rain, for Music,” dives in with “waiting for tomorrow / long after tomorrow / should’ve come.” This motif of regret builds to resignation in “From Sickbed Shores,” the book’s central poem, which asks, “what is it anyway to exist as / matter to / matter?” While writing of chronic illness, Rich offers wordplay redolent of her caustic wit and black humor and reminiscent of Plath. “Ballade of the Poverties,” a Prévert-like poem deviating in style from the book’s short-line, at times difficult, poems, speaks to timeless themes of injustice and ignorance and ends with the narrator offering the reader a mirror. Rich’s poetry itself is a mirror, reflecting the truths about humanity this discerning poet has come to understand. --Katharine Fronk


“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 - San Francisco Chronicle)

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

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this quickly. Enjoyed her brilliance - her militant stand - a powerful voice gave me a taste of her writings and I will read it again. Thank you Adrienne Rich for your poetry - it makes my own words seem childlike & tinny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rich here is experimental, amazing, inspirational, and difficult, for those interested in living politically aware in our era of greed. Rich still writes in a fragmented style and still thinks through emotion and ideas at the same time. While the title says No Poetry Will Serve, here poetry's power expresses, enlightens and acts as a balm (through insight and inventive zest). There are some weaker sections. For those who have not read Rich recently, Midnight Salvage (1995) and Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth (2007) are stronger collections, and maybe more helpful in understanding her point of view.
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