Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth
by Adrienne Rich
Norton. 108 pages, $23.95
“MORE AND MORE I dread futility,” confesses one of Adrienne Rich’s speakers in Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. “Maybe I couldn’t write fast enough. Maybe it was too soon,” Rich muses in another poem, as if her message might be better understood by future generations. Because she’s so well known for the groundbreaking poems that helped shape political movements in the second half of the last century, and has published a number of prose books (most recently, Poetry & Commitment and What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics) that probe the intersections of poetry and politics, it can be disturbing to witness Rich, honest as always, grappling with these uncertainties in her poems.