An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988-1991 by Adrienne Rich

By Adrienne Rich

From magazine of contemporary Literature
"In an interview with invoice Moyers, Adrienne wealthy reviews that the name poem of her 1991 quantity, An Atlas of the tough global, "reflects at the situation of my state, which I wrote very consciously as a citizen poet, taking a look at the geography, the historical past, the folks of my country" (345). the explicit occasion that led wealthy to put in writing a poem concerning the current of the U.S. was once the Persian Gulf conflict of 1991, which on a special party she describes because the first Bush administration's ploy to distract humans from household "anger and despair" ("I occur to Think" 33). "An Atlas of the tough World" is a longer inquiry into the character of patriotism in time of war—as wealthy says within the poem: "I am bent on fathoming what it ability to like my country" (Atlas 22). It features as either geography and historical past, delivering a breathtaking view of Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties America—the "difficult world" of the title—haunted through the contradictory legacies of freedom and oppression, idealism and materialism, democracy and capitalism. Like Whitman, whose attribute options of catalogue and anecdote she borrows in her poem, wealthy acknowledges the nice promise of the United States, but in addition recognizes its unfavourable components. Like Muriel Rukeyser, the second one vital precursor within the poem, she takes her readers on a highway journey to areas they another way might by no means possibility to discover. Approximating in size T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, or even together with a few endnotes, "An Atlas of the tough World" bargains an image of present-day the USA in a country of drawback which, wealthy hopes, can however be reversed and resolved."

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32 after we eat 33 let's sleep, let's sleep. 34 we can't make any money 35 awake. [Page 79] Bukowski, Charles:lilies in my brain [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 the lilies storm my brain 2 by god by god 3 like nazi storm troopers! 4 do you think I'm going 5 tizzy?  big dogs make things 20 concrete 21 don't they? 22 a big dog to wrinkle his 23 snot‐nose 24 like this lake gypped of 25 clear surface 26 by a quick and clever 27 wind.

6 and they begin 7 hitting me on the legs with Page 37 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 8 their toy clubs.  another has 11 handcuffs but my hands are high in the air. 12 when I go into the liquor store 13 they whirl around outside 14 like bees 15 shut out from their nest. 16 I buy a fifth of cheap 17 whiskey 18 and 19 3 20 candy bars. [Page 56] Bukowski, Charles:no lady godiva [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 she came to my place drunk 2 riding a deer up on the front porch: 3 so many women want to save the world 4 but can't keep their own kitchens straight, 5 but me ...

Page 49] II Crucifix in a Deathhand Poems 1963‐1965 Page 33 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) [Page 50] Epigraph the dark is empty; most of our heroes have been wrong [Page 51] Bukowski, Charles:view from the screen [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 I cross the room 2 to the last wall 3 the last window 4 the last pink sun 5 with its arms around the world 6 with its arms around me 7 I hear the death‐whisper of the heron 8 the bone‐thoughts of sea‐things 9 that are almost rock; 10 this screen caved like a soul 11 and scrawled with flies, 12 my tensions and damnations 13 are those of a pig, 14 pink sun pink sun 15 I hate your holiness 16 crawling your gilded cross of life 17 as my fingers and feet and face 18 come down to this 19 sleeping with the whore of your fancy wife 20 you must some day die for nothing 21 as I 22 have lived.

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