Her poetry has featured post on this blog before here.
Rukeyser was active in progressive and radical politics throughout her life. She used her poetry as a mode of social protest against the causes and consequences of violence and injustice in the United States and abroad.
The extract below is the opening of her poem "The Road," from the "The Book of the Dead" (1938). These were "documentary" poems that draws on actual legal testimony from the investigation into one of America's worst industrial tragedies -- the death of hundreds of migrant mine workers, many of them African Americans, from silicosis poisoning in the drilling of the Hawk's Nest Tunnel in West Virginia in the early 1930s.