Welcome to the Muriel Rukeyser Website.
As a “Living Archive,” our website is designed to engender lively interdisciplinary conversations about this important twentieth-century poet. Please take a minute to acquaint yourself with the site. Also consider contributing responses–critical, pedagogical, or creative–to the website by contacting us here.
We are happy to announce that Laura Passin has joined our website as guest blogger. Please have a look at her recent blog Discovering Muriel Rukeyser as a Young Writer. Catherine Gander and Adam Mitts continue to produce engaging and pertinent blog posts on Muriel Rukeyser.
Came in my full youth to the midnight cave
Nerves ringing; and this thing I did alone.
Wanting my fullness and not a field of war,
For the world considered annihilation, a star
Called Wormwood rose and flickered, shattering
Bent light over the dead boiling up in the ground.
The biting yellow of their corrupted lives
Streaming to war, denying all our words.
Nothing was left among the tainted weather
But world-walking and shadowless Ajanta.
Hallucination and the metal laugh
In clouds, and the mountain-spectre riding storm.
Nothing was certain but a moment of peace,
A hollow behind the unbreakable waterfall.
All the way to the cave, the teeming forms of death,
And death, the price of the body, cheap as air.
I blessed my heart on the expiation journey
For it had never been unable to suffer.
When I met the man whose face looked like the future,
When I met the whore with the dying red hair
The child myself who is my murderer.
So came I between heaven and my grave,
Past the serene smile of the voyeur, to
This cave where the myth enters the heart again.
You will find the entire poem here