8

Rukeyser identified America, as did Whitman, with its diversity; she was certain no part must be excluded. In her second book, U.S. 1, she investigated the fatal silicosis afflicting miners in West Virginia. The revolutionary achievement of this book was to create a poem as database, using materials never before seen in poetry - stock market quotes, doctor's reports, and legal testimony, side by side with lyric and narrative. This database, this hypertextual organization, makes an implicit claim; namely, that the fullest range of textual type is required to understand and combat injustice.