Results of the National Book Award in the year 1974.
Adrienne Rich searches to reclaim—to discover —what has been forgotten, lost, or unexplored: “I came to explore the wreck. / The words are purposes. / The words of maps. / I came to see the damage that was done / and the treasures that prevail.” These provocative poems move with the power of Rich’s distinctive voice.
Dedicated to Walt Whitman, these poems continue the Good Gray Poet’s project of chronicling the whole of America. For Ginsberg, however, America is less to be praised than to be scolded, and as he travels from place to place in these poems, he exhorts the country to be more just, more peaceful, and more free. These poems were written when Ginsberg was at his most active politically, but they aren’t strictly business: there are several erotic reveries, as well.