Muriel Rukeyser

(December 15, 1913 – February 12, 1980 / New York City)

St. Roach Poem by Muriel Rukeyser


For that I never knew you, I only learned to dread you,
for that I never touched you, they told me you are filth,
they showed me by every action to despise your kind;
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Comments about this poem (St. Roach by Muriel Rukeyser )

  • Freshman - 574 Points Wolfgang Steinmann (1/12/2015 9:24:00 AM)

    At first I thought: A poem about roaches? But is it really? How wonderful it describes our prejudices!
    Jew=Roach? , Negro=Roach? - we have certainly treated them as such. This poem should be read by anyone who thinks he is better than others! (Report) Reply

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  • Bronze Star - 2,463 Points John Richter (1/12/2015 7:24:00 AM)

    Not altogether certain she is speaking of cockroaches. Muriel lived through both world wars and the liberation of Israel as a Jewish woman. Could her affectionate poem be directed toward those war mongers? Art is art in any way through - if nothing more it gives us the romanticism of subjection. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 369 Points Stephen W (1/12/2013 8:39:00 AM)

    I think it's just a bit silly. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 532 Points Juan Olivarez (1/11/2012 8:13:00 AM)

    Tell me who you associate with, and I will know you. What a dirty woman you must have been Muriel. Creepy poem too advocating Sainthood for a roach, disgusting. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carolynn Shaw (11/7/2007 1:30:00 PM)

    Muriel,

    How sad, how shameful we are. Cruel in our habits and traditions. You shame me, you shame us - no, you show us our shame and allow us to breathe. Thank you for this poem.

    Respectfully,
    Carolynn (Report) Reply

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