Beauty and power and power and imagination.

Joseph Heller

An elegant relaunch of Muriel Rukeyser’s Elegies — previously available only in a limited edition — celebrates the centennial of her birth


Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser

With a contribution by Christoph Keller and Jan Heller Levi

First published by New Directions in 1949, Muriel Rukeyser’s Elegies were written over a seven-year period from the end of the Spanish Civil War, through World War II, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, to the start of the Cold War. Both an homage to Rilke’s Duino Elegies and a spiritual reckoning that is particularly resonant today, these poems present no angelic orders, only the difficulties of living in the modern world, the depths of shipwreck, and “Love that gives us ourselves, in the world known to all.”

Paperback(published Sep, 24 2013)

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Portrait of Muriel Rukeyser

Muriel Rukeyser

American poet and activist

Beauty and power and power and imagination.

Joseph Heller

Witness to the insanity of our wars, failures of imagination, betrayals, mass nightmare, she asks for nothing less than ’the world one world / dreaming together.’ Her dream-singing is visionary and oracular but grounded in the body’s hungers, the urge for life, and connection. Her masterful rhythms and pacing, her long cadences and gorgeous language, all ask to be read aloud.

Joan Larkin

Muriel Rukeyser loved poetry more than anyone I know. She also believed it could change us, move the world.

Alice Walker

Rukeyser appears more and more as an exemplary American modernist, the lyric poet of epic awareness.

Washington Post

The breadth, innovation, variety, and daring of Muriel Rukeyser’s work have always defined efforts to confine her. Rukeyser’s poetry is unequalled in the twentieth-century United States in its range of reference, its generosity of vision, and its energy.

Adrienne Rich