A major American poet faces her own native land, her own life, and the result is a volume of compelling, transforming poems.
Rich's new book, the latest product of 35 years of exploration of one of art's most demanding media, is a study in experience, politics and altruism. Rich, who might well have succeeded as a conventional poet, has instead dedicated her life to a poetry that is knowing, humane, gut-wrenching, useful and true. At heart she is possessed of the idea that if we can begin to know ourselvesin her case as woman, Jew, Americanwe can know others as well. The result is a voice synonymous with the voice of ordinary Americans, with the middle class and the poor, with the disenfranchised. This is the best of Rich's booksher continuing growth and development make each of her new books her best. (April)