Leslie Ann Minot: On "The Road"

We can also gain some insight into Rukeyser's sense of how an image or object "carries" a meaning by looking at the concluding passage of "The Road," where she writes:

                                Here is your road, tying

you to its meanings: gorge, boulder, precipice.

Telescoped down, the hard and stone-green river

cutting fast and direct into the town. (OS 11)

Again, the road is offered to the reader as something that belongs to her or him. The road is possessed by the reader, but it also possesses the reader, compels her or him, "ties" her or him to its "meanings." These meanings are not abstract, philosophical statements, ideas, or values—they are listed simply as "gorge, boulder, precipice." As symbols, they may be inscrutable. but you ignore them on a real road only at your peril. They make demands on you by their actuality.

Details

Criticism Overview
Title Leslie Ann Minot: On "The Road" 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 ""How Shall We Tell Each Other of the Poet?": The Life and Writing of Muriel Rukeyser"
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