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The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004 Paperback – January 17, 2006
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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"[The School Among the Ruins] makes acute observations about language, American identity, and the catastrophes of war. Whether lamenting the garishness of modern culture or condemning the war on terror, Rich remains a poet of impeccable principle and unwavering conscience."
About the Author
Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes two National Book Awards, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. Ms. Rich’s volumes of poetry include 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 includes the essay collections On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Blood, Bread, and Poetry; an influential essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” and the nonfiction book Of Woman Born, which examines the institution of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. In 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award.
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P.S. I particularly love "Your Native Land, Your Life", "The Dream of a Common Language", and "What is Found There". ("What is Found There" is supposed to be essays and letters but it seems like poetry to me.)
One of the blurbs on the jacket of Adrienne Rich's latest book proclaims Rich one of the poets whose every new book is cause for excitement. I can think of at least an hundred others for whom that should be true, and Rich is not one of them, especially if The School Among the Ruins is anything to go by.
It's obvious from some of the pieces here that Rich does know, or at least remember, that image should be the heart of all poetry; in the rest, however, she seems to have completely forgotten that fact, descending to the realm of political prose broken up into little lines to make it artistic. Little lines do not make poetry. Image makes poetry, and there is precious little of it to be found here. You'd be better off turning to one of the books by one of those poets whose every new work should be cause for excitement (Charles Simic, Ira Sadoff, Ted Kooser, Rochelle Theo Pienn, Debra Allbery, Heather McHugh, Elizabeth Willis, Peter Gizzi, and Dzvinia Orlowsky all come to mind very quickly), leaving this for once you've exhausted the rest of your local library's new releases shelf for poetry. **