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Collected early poems, 1950-1970
Rich, Adrienne
Adult Nonfiction PS3535.I233A6 1993

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The latest volume from this distinguished poet ( An Atlas of the Difficult World ) contains all of the work included in Rich's first six books, and a few previously uncollected pieces as well. Her poetry of the 1950s stems from a strong, mostly male tradition, obviously and intentionally echoing the work of Frost, Williams, Dickinson and Stevens. These poems read easily and beautifully; Rich's language is cautious and well crafted, almost painfully perfect in its rhyme schemes and rhythms. She does not focus on distinctly female experience, but speaks instead of the more universal struggle of humanity in a ``disordered, fragmentary world.'' Over time, Rich's style becomes more divergent and forceful; it gathers narrative threads and experiments with irregular rhythms, line breaks and pauses. She writes of the struggle of the socially marginal in a world where there are definite limits to growth and boundaries to thought: ``I am a woman . . . feeling the fullness of her powers / at the precise moment when she must not use them.'' The poems written in the 1960s are pervaded by the poet's consciousness of the subversive nature of creativity, especially for women, a gift at risk of being suppressed or curtailed at any moment by the self, family or the male-dominated society. In the last poems of the period, Rich's voice is firm and brave, her language still searingly beautiful and individual. This important volume charts the radical transformation of one of America's most significant poets. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This volume charts Rich's development as a poet, beginning with the precocious formal poems of her first books ( A Change of World, The Diamond Cutters ), originally published in the 1950s, and ending with the increasingly politically informed poems of the late 1960s ( The Will To Change ). Rich's grave intelligence and technical mastery are brilliantly evident in every poem. Her greatest gift is for subtly exploring emotional and psychological states while remaining mindful of how cultural forces shape our thoughts and action. As she writes in one of her best-known poems (about the 18th-century astronomer Caroline Herschel), ``I am an instrument in the shape/ of a woman trying to translate pulsations/ into images for the relief of the body/ and the reconstruction of the mind.'' By one of our major poets, this is essential for all libraries.-- Christine Stenstrom, Shea and Gould Law Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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