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What Is Found There [Paperback]

Adrienne Rich
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2003
One of our greatest living poets offers journals, letters, dreams, memories, and poems that reflect on how poetry and politics enter and influence American life. "Evocative and moving."

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

" You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it. " Rich ( An Atlas of the Difficult World ) seems to do as she says, and that's partly why her work is so powerful. This collection of her essays, notebook excerpts and letters shares the poet's thinking and her passion. Rich writes not only about poetry as a literary entity but about our need for it as a force for personal truth and political action. She is not prescriptive. Instead, she urges democracy in poetry, a broadening of possibilities, and suggests poetry--"a social art"--as a means of larger change, "pulling us toward each other." The pieces here do some of that pulling. Rich discusses the place of poetry in shopping malls; the livelihoods of poets; their education; Muriel Rukeyser as a neglected master; Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson as progenitors and "extremists" of American poetry; and the influence of Wallace Stevens on her own work. But regardless of topic, Rich continually affirms poetry as a way of reawakening "desire and need" long suppressed or forgotten by many. Her conviction also reawakens, offering hope toughened by experience.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Award-winning poet Rich offers a new volume of collected essays (Blood, Bread, and Poetry, 1986, etc.) that feature her distinct blend of feminist polemics and sharp-sighted analysis of the American condition, spiced with verses from a range of kindred spirits. Poetry is as necessary as food, shelter, education, and other human basics, Rich asserts, exploring the relationship between a poet's social responsibility and the world of experience that provides poetry's raw material. The notion of artist-activists remains primary even as Rich acknowledges that poetry, with limited ``value'' in a market economy as entrenched as ours, has been effectively marginalized. The struggle for political power through poetic expression is an engagement on many fronts, as minority voices speak out along with oppressed women, the poor along with the gay community. Quoting Muriel Rukeyser, June Jordan, and others to emphasize that poetry can convey valuable messages of social redemption, Rich also draws on sources from Trotsky to Wallace Stevens to illustrate her own educational path. Her understanding that racism and sexism are integral parts of the social landscape wasn't attained overnight, and the painful process of emergence from an early life of privileged narrowness into a fuller awareness is recounted at length. The transformative, conjuring power of poetry is reaffirmed throughout, with its potential impact enhanced as it finds its rightful place in the cultural mainstream. Challenging and rewarding as always, although at times the essays serve as little more than venues for the poetry and words of others. In giving access to lesser-known but like-minded writers, Rich has reduced her own presence--a disappointing trade-off. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Late Than Never To Read A Great Book! March 7 2003
Format:Paperback
Adrienne Rich is my current literary hero. And, no, her What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics isn't about feminism. It is about remaining human and maintaining artistic integrity in the face of the dehumanizing influences of our world. Rich calls into question W. H. Auden's oft quoted line "poetry does nothing," introduces readers to marginalized poets we ignore to our own loss, and demonstrates how poetry does considerably more than one might imagine. If I could afford it, copies of her book would go to everyone on my holiday gift list.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Style and Substance June 21 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Rich's collection of essays on poetry, WHAT IS FOUND THERE, is a superb tapestry of provocative, incisive, and relevant ruminations on poetry. What I really liked about this book is Rich's ability to connect poetry to one's everyday life, not describing it as something to be read by an elite, educated few.() Still, this book moved me and, as a student of poetry, I am inspired and hopeful that poetry and the discussion of it still thrives, contrary to many predictions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book on writing, the world and politics! April 1 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
One of the best books on the place of poetry in the world. A beautifully written collection of prose that discusses the integral connection between poetry and politics. Rich shows the power and passion of the written word and the changes it is able to bring about. Passionately written and surprisingly easy to read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book on writing, the world and politics! April 1 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One of the best books on the place of poetry in the world. A beautifully written collection of prose that discusses the integral connection between poetry and politics. Rich shows the power and passion of the written word and the changes it is able to bring about. Passionately written and surprisingly easy to read.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Style and Substance June 21 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Rich's collection of essays on poetry, WHAT IS FOUND THERE, is a superb tapestry of provocative, incisive, and relevant ruminations on poetry. What I really liked about this book is Rich's ability to connect poetry to one's everyday life, not describing it as something to be read by an elite, educated few.() Still, this book moved me and, as a student of poetry, I am inspired and hopeful that poetry and the discussion of it still thrives, contrary to many predictions.
5.0 out of 5 stars Luminous Essays April 13 2014
By Irene Grumman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Poetry illumines human spirits and inspires action. I'm still browsing, for each essay is rich and thought-provoking. The notebook presents literature and literary criticism as avenues for needed social change, through affirmation of exquisite experience of life in specific areas of America's cultures.
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative and Challenging Sept. 16 2013
By J. L. Loveland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of Adrienne Rich, then this is a must-read. She explores life and struggle through the medium of prose and poetry.
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