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Tonight No Poetry Will Serve
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Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  29 reviews

In the intimate address of "Axel Avákar," the black humor of "Quarto," and the underground journey of "Powers of Recuperation," compressed lyrics flash among larger scenarios where images, dialogues, blues, and song spiral into political visions. Adrienne Rich has said, "I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book."

from "Ballade o

...more
Hardcover, 89 pages
Published January 17th 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company
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(showing 1-30 of 529)
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Elizabeth
The range of subjects is amazing.

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve (excerpt from the poem in the volume)
Saw you walking barefoot
Taking a long look at the new moon's eyelid
later spread
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
asleep but not oblivious
of the unslept unsleeping elsewhere
Tonight I think
no poetry
will serve

Then, she also discusses illuminates socio/political issues, such as in "Ballad of the Poverties."

There's the poverty of the cockroach kingdom and the rusted toilet bowl
The poverty of t
...more
Full Stop
Jun 13, 2014 Full Stop added it
Shelves: spring-2011
http://www.full-stop.net/2011/03/07/r...

Review by Alli Carlisle

Adrienne Rich has said of her new collection, and every synopsis has quoted, “I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book.” This is no minor promise from such a lion of the literary sphere—venerated public intellectual, radical feminist and leftist, recipient (and refuser) of the highest awards for recognition of poetry. Her newest collection, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010, i
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Terri Jacobson
An exceptional book of poetry. Clear, crisp, haunting images. Wildly imaginative and deeply thoughtful. A book I'll go back to again.
Tressa
Adrienne Rich has some solid poems, but most of hers don't resonate with what's going on and what went on in my life.
Stephanie Kelley
god she is good so so so good, even when she's not that good she's still so good
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The only other poetry by Rich that I've read, Diving Into the Wreck: Poems, 1971-1972, comes from the 1970s. When I read it just a few months ago, it resonated with me. I wanted to go deeper, to take it with me alone, and read the poems repeatedly. (read my review here)

The poetry in Tonight No Poetry Will Serve, which is a finalist for the National Book Award, is much more fragmented. Most of the subjects seem to be observational rather than felt, or at least held at arm's length.

I liked this l
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Nicola
I'd like to give this one 3 and a half stars because Rich is a wonderful and important poet, but this wasn't one of my favorite collections. So I'll be generous and give it 4. When I read these poems alone, I didn't connect with the majority of them--some felt a touch didactic, while others, ironically, felt a touch obscure. But when I discussed this book in a book group, it opened up. We started fittingly with the poem "Generosity," in which Rich contemplates her approaching death through anima ...more
Tasha
Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon's eyelid

later spread
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
asleep but not oblivious
of the unslept unsleeping
elsewhere

Tonight I think
no poetry will serve

Syntax of rendition:

verb pilots the plane
adverb modifies action

verb force-feeds noun
submerges the subject
noun is choking
verb disgraced goes on doing

now diagram the sentence
Julie Leung
In my eyes, the worst of Adrienne Rich would still be among the best of contemporary American poetry. So even though I would say this isn't one of my favorite volumes of her work, it still contains some haunting feats of word magic. Chief among them: "Turbulence," "Waiting for Rain, for Music," and the Axel Avakar suite.

I do admire the range of the works represented in this slim collection. Some intensely political, fiercely rhythmic stuff.

I was able to snag this book for free, though I can se
...more
Andrea Blythe
I connected to Rich's collection of poetry on an intellectual level, rather than an emotional one. I didn't so much melt into her words (as I do with some poetry), and read, re-read, and thought about it, trying to make the connections between one phrase, line, or stanza, to the next.

Her lines a purposefully ragged, using blank space between lines and words more often than punctuation, and the tend to tumble into one another. Intellectual or otherwise, the writing is beautiful, and there are se
...more
Morgan
I loved Quarto and Ballade of the Poverties.
SmarterLilac
Damn. This book is stunning. The people who wrote the blurb on the back smartly selected its title poem to draw the reader in, and it is a stellar example of the richness (no pun intended) in these pieces. My favorite is the wonderful 'Don't Flinch,' which so adroitly captures the life of the politcal artist (with the verve and wit of A.R.'s classic work.)

Sharp and concise, these poems are some of her best ever.
Hadrian
It's a tragedy that I've only found out about this wonderful writer a mere month after she passed. Damn it all.

This slim volume has some jarring phrases and turns of image which are stuck with me. They connect on an intellectual/analytical level as well as a deeply emotional one. History and myth and emotion and feeling.

Need more. 89 pages is not enough, though they seem like much more, with what remains.
Deborah
Playful poems and delightful word arrangements:

Did you then holding
the phone tongue your own lips finger your naked shoulder as
if you could liquefy touch into sound through wires to lips
or shoulders lick

Axel Avakar
The I you know isn’t me, you said, truthtelling liar

Axel: backstory
Dreamt you into existence, did I, boy -
comrade who would love
everything I loved
missy ward-lambert
The Axel Avakar series is my favorite part of this collection.
Barbara
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rich's new volume of poetry, especially the poem which shares the title of the book. Rich can be obscure, but that only adds to the depth and beauty of her poems. I liked being caught off-guard by her word choice and images; a great addition to my collection of poetry.
Sam Mills
I was expecting something of more substance. This is a pretty anemic collection. (The perils of buying online.) It offers a few poems of interest, but the publisher should have waited until they'd found a few more to publish a "collection."
Leonard
Rich's poetry is often complex, obscure, and mysterious and this collection is no different, and yet you never regret reading her work because there is something there to think about even if you're not sure what it is!
D.
Nov 18, 2011 D. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Not one of my favorite collections but not a deterrent from buying her entire works either. There were some parts that made the lesser parts worth it; but nothing in here compares to some of her best for me.
Helena
Not sure about this one. I just think I read it at the wrong time; that happens sometimes with books. Maybe if I get back to it later I can appreciate it better.
Sueb
Mar 28, 2012 Sueb marked it as to-read
Just Read on FB that Adrienne passed today. so sad. Also read that this got nominated for a National Book Award. Must Read soon!
Sarah Sullivan
Gorgeous, rich, resonant poems that will stick with me. Adrienne Rich has an amazing way with language.
Lisa
With the exception of the title poem, I couldn't connect with these poems. I tried to like it.
Marissa
I loved the poems I loved, but the collection as a whole didn't really do it for me.
Joan Gelfand
Wrote a review for publication - will post once it's approved.
Monica
I liked the poems about Axel Avakar.
Cherie
B Quick poems with beautiful imagery.
Sally  Al Haq
Breathe normally.
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29947
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929). Born to a middle-class family, Rich was educated by her parents until she entered public school in the fourth grade. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe College in 1951, the same year her first book of poems, A Change of World, appeared. That volume, chosen by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and her next, The Diamond Cutters and Other Poems ...more
More about Adrienne Rich...
Diving Into the Wreck The Dream of a Common Language The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New, 1950-1984 Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution An Atlas of the Difficult World

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“Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon's eyelid

later spread
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
asleep but not oblivious
of the unslept unsleeping
elsewhere

Tonight I think
no poetry
will serve

Syntax of rendition:

verb pilots the plane
adverb modifies action

verb force-feeds noun
submerges the subject
noun is choking
verb disgraced goes on doing

now diagram the sentence”
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