17 January 2019

Poetry Thursday - Islands by Muriel Rukeyser

"Unrecallable Now" by Marielle Neudecker, 1998-2001 (via)


Originally published in The Gates (1976)
O for God’s sake
they are connected
They look at each other
across the glittering sea
some keep a low profile
Some are cliffs
The bathers think
islands are separate like them

Tetchy little poem, isn't it? A riposte to "No man is an island", one of those oft-quoted platitudes that might indeed make a person tetchy....

Muriel Rukeyser was called "the mother of everyone" by Anne Sexton. She is a poet new to me and Sexton is only a name to me - a situation that is so easily remedied with the wonder of the internet: no need to make a special trip to the library, or to add "find out about Rukeyser and Sexton" to some long list of as-yet-unknown knowables.

The Muriel Rukeyser  website "is designed to engender lively interdisciplinary conversations about this important twentieth-century poet. We include a rotating number of selected poems". An essay on the site notes that she " a matriarch of many things–a son, poetry, feminism, and the list continues" ... is there a trajectory of this motherliness?

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