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Muriel Rukeyser

Muriel Rukeyser

Muriel Rukeyer’s poetry reflected her passionate activism and her belief in confronting the truth of her lived experience.

Passover Poetry: Giving Miriam her song

In recent years, Miriam has become regular presence at the Passover table.  For some she is there in the form of Miriam’s cup, a ritual addition to the Passover Seder created by Jewish feminists. For others, she is invoked through Debbie Friedman’s joyous song, an occasion, at many seders, for women to sing and dance, continuing or reexperiencing the celebration of freedom, led by Miriam, upon crossing the Red Sea.   

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry

In The Life of Poetry, Muriel Rukeyser declares, “I wish to say that we will not be saved by poetry. But poetry is the type of creation in which we may live and which will save us.”

Birth of poet Muriel Rukeyser

December 15, 1913

Birth of poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser.

Poet Muriel Rukeyser receives $1000 literary award

May 8, 1942

Poet Muriel Rukeyser received a $1000 award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Muriel Rukeyser publishes second book of poems

January 31, 1938

Muriel Rukeyser established herself as a poet of enduring impact with the publication of "U.S. 1," her second book of poems.

Muriel Rukeyser

During her life, Muriel Rukeyser was often the center of controversy. Critics either loved or hated her; there was seemingly no middle ground. Her poetry sought to embody, with striking verbal and thematic juxtapositions, the unity she believed underlies a world seemingly disconnected.

Poetry in the United States

The contributions of Jewish women poets to American literary history and political activism, as well as to the enrichment of Jewish culture and practice, are astounding.

Assimilation in the United States: Twentieth Century

Jewish women began to assimilate into American society and culture as soon as they stepped off the boat. Some started even earlier, with reports and dreams of the goldene medine, the golden land of liberty and opportunity. Very few resisted adapting to the language and mores of the United States; those who did often returned to Europe. Well over ninety percent stayed, even those who cursed Columbus’s voyage and subsequent European settlement in North America.

Muriel Rukeyser: Daring to Live for the Impossible

While listening to the Writer's Almanac this morning, I was reminded that today is the birthday of poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) who lived to "breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry."

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Muriel Rukeyser." (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10136>.

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