27 February 2006

Rukeyser

I'll confess, one of my problems with Dr Atomic was its use of Muriel Rukeyser's verse. I'm not ruling out the possibility that there are hidden gems there, but she is responsible for two of the most idiotic lines of poetry I've ever heard, and that's all of hers that I ever hear quoted:

"What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open."

Um, well, in the first place, the world would do no such thing. I think it would pretty much keep right on rolling.

In the second place, why does she specify a woman? If she thinks men tell, or are encouraged to tell, the truth about their lives, she's just an idiot. If she's only interested in women's lives, well, that's fine, but in that case, why should my penis and I want to hear about her life?

And in the third place, what is the truth of someone's life? Perhaps it's something that can only be pieced together from others or from ethereal emanations. Is it even something that we can know?

1 comment:

Vicki said...

What kind of poetry or verse is that? I think I can help her out:

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
After 30 minutes of listening, I'd kill myself with a knife.