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The Diamond Cutters

2.8  ·  Rating details ·  10 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Hardcover, 62 pages
Published 1955 by Harper & Brothers
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Julie Ehlers
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
When this clangor in the brain
Grows perfunctory, or worse,
Put me down a sick old woman
Propped for sleep, hire me a nurse;
Till then, all things I look upon
Beat on my brain to hail and bless,
And every last and wayward power
I claim till then, and nothing less.


As far as I can tell, The Diamond Cutters went out of print soon after its 1955 publication and, unlike a lot of Rich's other books, stayed out of print until its inclusion in the recent Collected Poems 1950–2012. It's pretty easy to see why.
...more
Craig Werner
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Although The Diamond Cutters is clearly the least satisfying volume of Rich's long career, there are a handful of excellent poems written in a form defined by metrical constraint and late modernist uneasiness. Throughout, there's a sense of distance from lived experience, often expressed through poems that place the persona in a tourist's position. There's a strained attempt to cast poetic control as an adequate answer the underlying dis-ease: "Awhile/Mind's local jangling lightens, ear is eased ...more
Mandy E
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
"But we have made another kind of peace,
And walk where boughs are green,
Forgiven by the selves that we have been,
And learning to forgive. Our apples taste
Sweeter this year; our gates are falling down,
And need not be replaced."
from "Letter From the Land of Sinners"

In these poems are a certain amount of stiffness and archaic speech, but many of the problems Rich deals with later in her better poems are seeded here.

" 'I'm sick, I guess—
I thought that life was different than it is."
from "Autumn Eq
...more
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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