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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 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, April 17, 1962

Complete recording (56:10); MP3
Recording courtesy of Library of Congress

Reading in the Whittall Pavillion, April 5, 1965

Complete recording (1:12:07); MP3
Recording courtesy of Library of Congress

Reading at the University of Warwick, 1971

The Ballad of Orange and Grape (6:02):

The Caedmon Poetry Collection: A Century of Poets Reading Their Work

The Speed of Darkness (5:19):

The Poetry and Voice of Muriel Rukeyser, Caedmon, 1977

Produced in association with the Poetry Center of the 92nd Street YM-YWHA, New York.

  1. The Poem as Mask: Orpheus (1:23): MP3
  2. Night Feeder (1:45): MP3
  3. Are You Born? (2:35): MP3
  4. No One Ever Walking This Our Only Earth (2:26): MP3
  5. Song (0:32): MP3
  6. The Dam (7:54): MP3
  7. Waterlily Fire: Fragile (0:34): MP3
  8. Waterlily Fire: The Long Body (3:08): MP3
  9. In Our Time (0:19): MP3
  10. Poem (1:45): MP3
  11. The Ballad of Orange and Grape (2:46): MP3
  12. Speed of Darkness (2:52): MP3
  13. This Morning (1:28): MP3
  14. Despisals (1:33): MP3
  15. Looking At Each Other (1:41): MP3
  16. To Be a Jew in the Twentieth Century (1:08): MP3
  17. Columbus (4:10): MP3
  18. Burning the Dreams (0:51): MP3
  19. St. Roach (1:52): MP3
  20. Dream Drumming (1:15): MP3
  21. Rune (0:48): MP3
  22. How We Did It (1:43): MP3
  23. Then (0:30): MP3
  24. Mother as Pitchfork (1:11): MP3
  25. Poems for the Unborn Child (2:22): MP3
Complete Recording (50:07): MP3

Reading from a group of poems about Akiba, date unknown

"The Way Out" (5:50): MP3
Recording courtesy of Poetry Foundation

Unknown Reading

  • complete reading (33:18): MP3

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2011 Muriel Rukeyser. Used with permission of the estate of Muriel Rukeyser. Distributed by PennSound.