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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Writing the breaths of life

“Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry.” – Muriel Rukeyser

American poet and political activist Rukeyser is best known for her poems about equality, feminism and social justice, and was active in progressive politics throughout her life.  Born on Dec. 15, 1914, she spent her whole life in New York City (she died in 1980).   
                             Winner of numerous awards and prizes she once noted, "The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms."  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Rukeyser’s,


Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the
roads. He smelled a familiar smell. It was
the Sphinx. Oedipus said, 'I want to ask one question.
Why didn't I recognize my mother?' 'You gave the
wrong answer,' said the Sphinx. 'But that was what
made everything possible,' said Oedipus. 'No,' she said.
'When I asked, What walks on four legs in the morning,
two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered,
Man. You didn't say anything about woman.'
'When you say Man,' said Oedipus, 'you include women
too. Everyone knows that.' She said, 'That's what
you think.'

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