Muriel Rukeyser Quotes

Whatever can happen to anyone can happen to me.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. "Waterlily Fire," part 5, line 26 (1962).
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Women in drudgery knew They must be one of four: Whores, artists, saints, and wives. There are composite lives that women always live
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. "Wreath of Women," lines 42-46 (1944).
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"Try to live as if there were a God"
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Ajanta (l. 119). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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I am haunted by interrupted acts, introspective as a leper, enchanted by a repulsive clew, a gross and fugitive movement of the limbs. Is this the love that shook the lights to flame?
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Ajanta (l. 92-96). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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Came to Ajanta cave, the painted space of the breast, the real world where everything is complete, there are no shadows, the forms of incompleteness, The great cloak blows in the light, rider and horse arrive, the shoulders turn and every gift is made.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Ajanta (l. 120-124). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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The heavy sensual shoulders, the thighs, the blood-born flesh and earth turning into color, rocks into their crystals, water to sound, fire to form: life flickers uncounted into the supple arms of love.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Ajanta (l. 35-38). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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The naked world, and the old noise of tears, the fear, the expiation and the love, a world of the shadowed and alone. The journey, and the struggles of the moon.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Ajanta (l. 147-150). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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a star called Wormwood rose and flickered, shattering bent light over the dead boiling up in the ground, the biting yellow their corrupted lives streaming to war, denying all our words.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Ajanta (l. 4-8). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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Dead power is everywhere among us—in the forest, chopping down the songs; at night in the industrial landscape, wasting and stiffening the new life; in the streets of the city, throwing away the day. We wanted something different for our people: not to find ourselves an old, reactionary republic, full of ghost-fears, the fears of death and the fears of birth. We want something else.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Originally published in The Life of Poetry (1949). As quoted in What is Found There, page preceding preface, by Adrienne Rich (1993).
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Twilight and bulb define the brown room, the overstuffed plum sofa, the boy, and the girl's thin hands above his head.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), U.S. poet. Boy with His Hair Cut Short (l. 2-4). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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