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Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995-1998
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393046826, Hardcover)W.H. Auden chose Adrienne Rich for the Yale Younger Poet series when she was a mere 21. In Midnight Salvage, a half century later, in an act part homage, part defiance, Rich challenges the reader to reconsider whether poetry matters:
if a woman as vivid as any artistAs we've come to expect from a writer who insists that "all kinds of language fly into poetry, like it or not" and "real acts are not simple," Rich sparks necessary epiphanies. Her Whitmanesque embrace of the silenced--the homeless woman, the drag queen, the paraplegic--forces us to question and redefine who and what poetry is for. This desire to widen art's access, to reject the "death mask / and the english cemetery all so under control and so / eternal," this refusal to play by the rules, infuses every poem. In "The Art of Translation," for instance, Rich celebrates the translator who allows access to the canon-excluded, to the poet whose work is itself an act of translation, and to any reader who speaks from the heart, "a zone that remains otherwise untranslatable."
Daring in their passion to inform and incite, these poems remind us that complacency is never an option. "I wanted to go somewhere / the brain had not yet gone," she confesses in "Letters to a Young Poet." Midnight Salvage is evidence of a destination reached. --Martha Silano
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 19 Apr 2011 09:01:46 -0400)
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