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Muriel Rukeyser

PoemTalk Podcast #78, discussing Muriel Rukeyser's "Ballad of Orange and Grape," March 19, 2014

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

Reading Letter to the Front: Sections 1, 3, and 10, 1944

complete recording (4:19): MP3

Special thanks to the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard University for providing this recording.

Poems and commentary by Muriel Rukeyser, March 21, 1959

from the Lee Anderson Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Library, Yale University
  1. Believe that we bloom upon this stalk of time (2:27): MP3 [preceded by Lee Anderson's general introduction]
  2. Ajanta (11:43): MP3 [begins with part 1, "The Journey"]
  3. The Return (2:02): MP3
  4. Divining Water (2:54): MP3
  5. After Their Quarrel (2:22): MP3 ["very much a poem of adolescence"]
  6. The Young Girl of the Mississippi Valley (1:53): MP3
  7. A Birth (2:27): MP3
  8. Q&A Discussion, part 1 [hosted by Lee Anderson] (31:12): MP3
  9. Q&A Discussion, part 2 [hosted by Anderson] (2:54): MP3
    on prosody (7:52): MP3
    on the San Francisco Poets (1:40): MP3
    on the relationship between linguistics and poetry (2:03): MP3
    on contemporary prosodists (2:16): MP3
    on the role of the poet (3:55): MP3
    on the relationship between the poet and the mathematician (4:36): MP3
    on how other art forms feed into her poetry (0:47): MP3
    on the Pacific Coast and New York poetry scenes (7:59): MP3
    on the difficulty of the Beats' attitude toward women (2:51): MP3
  10. Suite for Lord Timothy Dexter (23:50): MP3 [about "an American eccentric" who showed "that the business proverbs were way off"]
  11. Are You Born? (3:40): MP3 [in two parts; about 2-year-old children at the Vassar Family Institute; this work is "the framework for a large group of poems"]
  12. Body of Waking (18:23): MP3
  13. Speed, We Say (2:01): MP3 [a poem that starts with a jet plane across the sky and ends with a love poem; it is "bound by the image of speed"]
  14. The Birth of Venus (2:14): MP3 ["the myth...as we scarcely ever hear it in school"]
  15. Murmurs from the earth of this land (2:33): MP3 [this poem is from a group of poems enclosed with a series called "Are You Born?"]
  16. The Sixth Night: Waking (1:10): MP3 [referring to the 6th night of creation, the moment of man and woman]
  17. In your time, there have been those who spoke clearly (4:00): MP3 [also a poem enclosed with the "Are You Born?" series in One Life]
  • Complete recording, Reel 1 (29:10): MP3
  • Complete recording, Reel 2 (31:31): MP3
  • Complete recording, Reel 3 (30:28): MP3
  • Complete recording, Reel 4 (30:53): MP3

Special thanks to Nancy Kuhl, William Rukeyser, and the estate of Muriel Rukeyser for making these recordings available.

Reading in the Recording Laboratory at the Library of Congress, April 17, 1962

Complete recording (56:10); MP3

  1. Introduction (0:37): MP3
  2. Water Lily Fire (17:45): MP3
  3. Song (A Voice Flew Out) (0:36): MP3
  4. To Enter That Rhythm Where the Self Is Lost (1:29): MP3
  5. The Speaking Tree (1:32): MP3
  6. The Way Out (5:28): MP3
  7. Boy with His Hair Cut Short (3:04): MP3
  8. Are You Born (3:12): MP3
  9. Murmurs from the Earth of This Land (2:12): MP3
  10. No One Ever Walking This Our Only Earth (2:21): MP3
  11. Haying Before Storm (1:39): MP3
  12. A Birth (2:33): MP3
  13. Night Feeding (2:00): MP3
  14. Discussion (9:00): MP3

Recording courtesy of Library of Congress

Reading in the Whittall Pavillion at the Library of Congress, April 5, 1965

Complete recording (1:12:07); MP3

  1. Introduction (3:00): MP3
  2. Song (0:42): MP3
  3. Eyes of Nighttime (2:00): MP3
  4. Reading Time (1 Minute 26 Seconds) (6:34): MP3
  5. Darkness Music (0:29): MP3
  6. Haying Before Storm (1:59): MP3
  7. Easter Eve (4:27): MP3
  8. Are You Born (2:55): MP3
  9. Song (2) (0:36): MP3
  10. Ajanta (15:34): MP3
  11. The Seeming (2:46): MP3
  12. The Orgy (2:47): MP3
  13. The Poem as Mask (2:45): MP3
  14. The Power of Suicide (0:26): MP3
  15. Double Dialogue (2:11): MP3
  16. The Transgress (1:08): MP3
  17. The Outer Banks (13:32): MP3
  18. The Wreck of the Tiger (1:47): MP3

Recording courtesy of Library of Congress

Reading at the University of Warwick, 1971

Courtesy of University of Warwick.

  • Complete Recording (44:47): MP3
  • The Ballad of Orange and Grape (6:02): MP3

Reading 29 poems at the University of Warwick, January 19, 1972

Courtesy of University of Warwick.

Complete Recording (41:59): MP3

Murial Rukeyser reads at Dowling College, introduced by Aaron Kramer, October 11, 1976