John Lowney: On "The Book of the Dead"

When the conclusion of "The Book of the Dead" reiterates the poem's opening refrain—"These roads will take you into your own country" (OS 37)—this refrain is also rewritten, insisting on the reader's active role as "witness" much more forcefully. "These roads" constructed for commerce, including the commerce of tourism, are also the roads traveled by anonymous migrant workers. "The Book of the Dead" assures that "your own country" can neither "forget" nor "keep silent" these workers' defiant narratives of counter-memory.

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Criticism Overview
Title John Lowney: On "The Book of the Dead" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Anne F. Herzog, Janet E. Kaufman Criticism Target Muriel Rukeyser
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 22 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication "Truths of Outrage, Truths of Possibility: Muriel Rukeyser's 'The Book of the Dead'"
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