About Elisabeth Daumer

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So far Elisabeth Daumer has created 34 blog entries.


Published in The Gates (1976) When this hand is gone to earth, this writing hand and the paper beneath it, long gone, and the words on the paper forgotten, and the breath that slowly curls around earth with its old spoken words gone into lives unborn and they too gone to earth— and their memory, memory of any of these gone, and all who remembered them absorbed in air and dirt, words, earth, breeze over the oceans, all these now other, there may as in the past be something left, some artifact.   This pen.   Will it tell my? [...]

2022-01-31T16:29:38+00:00January 31, 2022|Poetry, Writings|0 Comments

I Make my Magic

Published in Houdini (2002) I make my magic Of forgotten things Night and nightmare and the midnight wings Of childhood butterflies— And the darkness, the straining dark Underwater and under sleep— Night and a heartbreak try to keep Myself, until before my eyes The morning sunlight pours And I am clear of all the chains And the magic now that rains Down around me is A sunlight magic, I come to a sunlight magic, Yours.

2023-09-04T17:20:49+00:00January 27, 2022|Poetry, Writings|0 Comments

Susanna Ansorge, Rat Elegy–A Creative Response to Rukeyser’s Elegies

Preface Muriel Rukeyser's Elegies challenges readers with an array of complicated literary devices and historical references as a way of digesting a thoroughly grueling time in world history, as she lived through it. Since the work isn't reflecting on the past, but rather a historical present, Elegies stands as especially relevant for readers experiencing unprecedented times. Even as one of those readers, I still had a lot of difficulty interpreting Rukeyser's ambitious collection. As that's the case, I wanted to emulate her as a way of understanding the work. If I can at least reconstruct how these elegies were written, [...]

2023-09-04T17:25:01+00:00January 18, 2022|Essays, Ruke Blog|0 Comments

Bill Rukeyser, Interviewed by Dennis Bernstein, February 16, 2021, KPFA Flashpoints

Dennis: It’s a pleasure and an honor to welcome William L. Rukeyser, son of the late poet and biographer, Muriel Rukeyser, who we are honoring, studying, remembering, during this extended two-day webinar at Eastern Michigan University.  Eastern Michigan University is creating an archive for the great work of the biographer and poetry of Muriel Rukeyser.  And her son, William, has agreed to talk a little bit about his mom and what it’s like to grow up as the son of a great poet and a visionary.  Dennis: So, welcome, William Rukeyser, to “Flashpoints”, and it is very good to have [...]

2021-06-02T15:22:31+00:00June 2, 2021|Ruke Blog|1 Comment

Joely Byron Fitch, The Marks of Her Knowing: On Muriel Rukeyser’s “Käthe Kollwitz”

There’s a line in Muriel Rukeyser’s poem “Käthe Kollwitz” next to which I write: this, the center of everything. That line, from the five-part poem’s second section, reads: “A woman pouring her opposites.” The poem is better-known for a question that Rukeyser later asks, then immediately answers: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open” (Muriel Rukeyser Reader 214, part 3, lines 25-26). These might well be Rukeyser’s most-quoted lines; they appear in some form as countless epigraphs, as the title of at least two anthologies, and in the pages [...]

2021-06-22T14:24:30+00:00June 1, 2021|Essays, Scholarship|0 Comments

Trudi Witonsky, Introducing Louise Kertesz, Friday February 19, 2021

I’m thrilled to introduce Louise Kertesz to you. I first came to read Muriel Rukeyser through Adrienne Rich’s poetry, and you get used to reading one sensibility, even as it evolves and breaks and innovates. But when you start reading someone new, someone as complicated as Rukeyser, it’s bewildering at first, and you need a guide. So, as many of you have done, I turned to Louise’s 1980 monograph, The Poetic Vision of Muriel Rukeyser, where as I read, I could see  the patterns of the themes and images and processes come into coherent shape. Louise had had to rely [...]

2023-09-04T17:26:01+00:00May 24, 2021|Essays, Scholarship|0 Comments

Louise Kertesz, “My Untamable Need”: Reading Rukeyser’s Elegies in Light of Some of Her Later Poems

I wonder how many have come upon Rukeyser’s work – as I did —surprised that we’d not heard very much about her. In the early 1970s, I was a new PhD in English, reasonably acquainted with the work of despairing, self-destructive, suicidal poets (most of them men), whom critics and English courses focused on: Robert Lowell, Dylan Thomas, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, Hart Crane, Theodore Roethke. The writing in this canon was undeniably brilliant. But after Berryman’s suicide in 1972 by jumping off a bridge, Lowell wrote a dispirited response: “Yet really we had the same life,/the generic one/our generation [...]

2021-06-04T15:38:54+00:00May 24, 2021|Essays, Scholarship|0 Comments

First Elegy: Rotten Lake

Originally published in A Turning Wind (1939) As I went down to Rotten Lake I remembered the wrecked season, haunted by plans of salvage, snow, the closed door, footsteps and resurrections, machinery of sorrow. The warm grass gave to the feet and the stilltide water was floor of evening and magnetic light and reflection of wish, the black-haired beast with my eyes walking beside me. The green and yellow lights, the street of water standing point to the image of that house whose destruction I weep when I weep you. My door (no), poems, rest, (don’t say it!) untamable need. [...]

2023-09-04T17:27:44+00:00January 15, 2021|Long Poetry, Writings|0 Comments
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