Book: Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Cover image

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010

Author: Adrienne Rich
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Relationships—partings/reconciliations, solidarities/ruptures, trust/betrayal, exposure/withdrawal—are the deep fabric of this forceful work.

In the intimate address of “Axel Avákar,” the black humor of “Quarto,” and the underground journey of “Powers of Recuperation,” compressed lyrics flash among larger scenarios where images, dialogues, blues, and song spiral into political visions. Adrienne Rich has said, “I believe almost everything I know, have come to understand, is somewhere in this book.”

There’s the poverty of wages wired for the funeral you
Can’t get to the poverty of bodies lying unburied
There’s the poverty of labor offered silently on the curb
The poverty of yard sale scrapings spread
And rejected the poverty of eviction, wedding bed out on street
Prince let me tell you who will never learn through words
There are poverties and there are poverties.
from “Ballade of the Poverties”
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