John Lowney: On "The Disease" and "The Bill"

The Congressional inquiry into the power companies' financial culpability is blocked as the breathing of stricken miners is blocked. The words of the subcommittee investigating the silicosis deaths have little impact: these "Words on a monument. / Capitoline thunder . . . cannot be enough" ( OS 37). In response to the futile words of this official monument, the poem counterposes its own monumental figure: "dead John Brown's body walking from a tunnel / to break the armored and concluded mind" (OS 37). Brown, the heroic figure whose "whole life becomes an image reaching backward and forward in history, illuminating all time" (LP 35), returns us to the poem's introductory survey of local West Virginia history, to the "granite SITE" of Brown's execution, but the history of this site has been rewritten.

Details

Criticism Overview
Title John Lowney: On "The Disease" and "The Bill" 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'"
Printer Friendly PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags No Data

Rate this Content

Item Type Criticism
Average Rating 0/100
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Total votes: 0
Use the above slider to rate this item. You can only submit one rating per item, and your rating will be factored in to the item's popularity on our listings.

Share via Social Media