The House is Made of Poetry

The House is Made of Poetry

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Ruth Stone has always eschewed self-promotion and, in the words of Leslie Fiedler, qhas never been a member of any school or clique or gaggle of mutual admirers.q But her poems speak so vibrantly for her that she cannot be ignored. In her preface to this volume, Sandra M. Gilbert declares that Stonea€™s qintense attention to the ordinary transforms it into (or reveals it as) the extraordinary. Her passionate verses evoke impassioned responses.q At the same time, Gilbert continues, the essays collected here qconsistently testify to Stonea€™s radical unworldliness, in particular her insouciant contempt for the a€˜floor walkers and straw bossesa€™ who sometimes seem to control the poetry a€˜factorya€™ both inside and outside the university.q Wendy Barker and Sandra Gilbert have organized the book into three sections: qKnowing Ruth Stone, q qA Life of Art, q and qReading Ruth Stone.q In qKnowing Ruth Stone, q writers of different generations who have known the poet over the years provide memoirs. Noting Stonea€™s singularity, Fiedler points out that qshe resists all labelsq and is qone of the few contemporaries whom it is possible to think of simply as a a€˜poet.a€™q Sharon Olds defines her vitality (qA Ruth Stone poem feels alive in the handsq), and Jan Freeman praises her aesthetic intensity (qEverything in the life of Ruth Stone is integrated with poetryq). qA Life of Artq sketches the outlines of Stonea€™s career and traces her evolution as a poet. Barker and Norman Friedman, for example, trace her development from the qhigh spirits and elegant craftq of her first volumea€”In an Iridescent Timea€” through the qdeepening shadows, q qpoignant wit, q and qbittersweet meditationsq of her later work. In interviews separated by decades (one in the 1970s and one in the 1990s), Sandra Gilbert and Robert Bradley discuss with Stone her own sense of her aesthetic origins and literary growth. qReading Ruth Stoneq is an examination of Stonea€™s key themes and modes. Diane Wakoski and Diana Oa€™Hehir focus on the tragicomic vision that colors much of her work; Kevin Clark and Elyse Blankley explore the political aspects of her poetry; Roger Gilbert analyzes her qoften uncannily astute insights into the a€˜othernessa€™ of other livesq; Janet Lowery and Kandace Brill Lombart draw on the biographical background of Stonea€™s qgrief workq; and Sandra Gilbert studies her caritas, her empathic love that redeems pain.And when I won that citywide contest in sixth grade they gave me a book which had all the poetry forms. And I used to write sestinas and all the French forms. I would just have loads of fun playing with all these patterns. Gilbert: Do you revise anbsp;...

Title:The House is Made of Poetry
Author:Wendy Barker, Sandra M. Gilbert
Publisher:SIU Press - 1996


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