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Preface Muriel Rukeyser's Elegies challenges readers with an array of complicated literary devices and historical references as a way of digesting a thoroughly grueling time in world history, as she lived through it.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

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

Muriel Rukeyser, Zombie Necromancer

Posted on November 23, 2012 by Joe Sacksteder I don’t care for this new zombie renaissance. And I don’t mean that like I’m afraid of zombies or something. I just think that 1). it’s a default subject matter for horror writers, 2). all interesting scenarios and subject matters were long ago exhausted, and 3). our current fascination with the genre points to disturbing cultural predilections. So I was surprised when reading a new compilation put out by Butler University’s Pressgang Press, Monsters: A Collection of Literary Sightings, that my favorite story was Amiee Bender’s Among Us. Briefly, it starts as [...]

2012-11-23T22:27:20+00:00November 23, 2012|Ruke Blog|0 Comments
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