Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 131

REVIEWS 50 Years of Feminist Poetry: Alicia Suskin Ostriker and Elaine Feinstein Review JULIE R. ENSZER Image courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Press. Waiting for the Light Alicia Suskin Ostriker University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017 82 pages, $15.95 The Clinic, Memory: New and Selected Poems Elaine Feinstein Sheep Meadow Press, 2018 181 pages, $19.95 In the first days of 2018, the secular new year, my Facebook feed filled with images of the year rendered as two zero chai (the word chai in Hebrew is spelled with two letters which are associated with the numbers 18). Friends and colleagues posted messages with uplift- ing wishes for a life-filled year; progressives responded with messages to go out and vote, and feminists hoped, cautiously at times, for another electoral year like 1992. The year two zero chai marks fifty years since 1968, a year of extraordinary activism in the burgeoning Women’s Liberation Movement. As a decade, VOL. 34, NO. 1 the 1960s marked a profound change of world, to use Adrienne Rich’s phrase, for women writing poetry. Adrienne Rich’s Snapshots of a Daughter in Law published in 1963; Sylvia Plath’s Ariel in 1966; Diane Wakowski’s Inside the Blood Factory published in 1968. These three books, among others, portended an explosion of poetry by women that expressed the passion, vision, fervor, triumphs, and disappointments of women’s liberation. In the midst of these heady times, Alicia Ostriker and Elaine Feinstein began their work. Feinstein published translations of poems by the great Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva in 1961 and her first collection of poetry, In a Green Eye, in 1966. Songs, Alicia Ostriker’s first collection of poetry, published in 1969. Now both poets have new books that offer readers vibrant histories of political activism and with a powerful inter- sectional and international consciousness for resistance. In Waiting for the Light, Alicia Ostriker walks through the streets of Manhattan in the same © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 131