Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.In this, her thirteenth book of verse, the author of "The Dream of a Common Language" and "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" writes of war, oppression, the future, death, mystery, love and the magic of poetry.
I wonder if this is a white man's madness.Rich knows that mere political poetry has a quick expiration date. Her genius enables her to speak to the moment and to posterity simultaneously. "Catch if you can your country's moment, begin / where any calendar's ripped-off: Appomattox / Wounded Knee, Los Alamos / Selma, the last airlift from Saigon," she exhorts at one point, tuning the present to its history like Muriel Rukeyser or Ezra Pound. Early in the book Rich praises "those needed to teach, advise, persuade, weigh arguments ... the meticulous delicate work of reaching the heart of the desperate woman, the desperate man / --never-to-be-finished, still unbegun work of repair," but wonders who will continue this work in the America she has witnessed. "It cannot be done without them / and where are they now?" With this, her 21st book, her echo returns the answer. --Edward Skoog
I honor your truth and refuse to leave it at that.
What have I learned from stories of the hunt, of lonely men in gangs?
But there were other stories...