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Friday, September 23, 2011

Poetry Friday--Muriel Rukeyser

We recently added a volume to our "American Poets Project" collection published by The Library of America, Muriel Rukeyser: Selected Poems (Adrienne Rich, editor) [811.52 RUK]. It contains poems from books published 1935 through 1976.


This one particularly appealed to me since I'm keenly aware of the struggle women artists had in being accepted right up through the 20th century.
Painters

In the cave with a long-ago flare
a woman stands, her arms up. Red twig, black twig, brown twig.
A wall of leaping darkness over her.
The men are out hunting in the early light
But here in this flicker, one or two men, painting
and a woman among them.
Great living animals grow on the stone walls,
their pelts, their eyes, their sex, their hearts,
and the cave-painters touch them with life, red, brown, black,
a woman among them, painting.
This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Picture Book of the Day.

[Note: Above I had written about "the struggle women artists had in being accepted right up through the 20th century." Coincidentally, I came across an ArtInfo blog posting late last night which leads me to believe that I should have said "right into the 21st century." Read the post here.]

Photo by Gruban.

1 comment:

  1. I like the message embedded in this poem - fairly recently I read this journal article about the 'messages women artists receive' in music - this is also another huge topic I discuss in my masters in gifted ed class about gifted women 'underachieving' or losing their voice or their steam - very polemical topics that would always result in beautiful discussion. I should add this poem to my set of slides whenever we talk about that topic. :)

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