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A brilliant light is extinguished and the world a darker place with the death of Adrienne Rich.

March 29, 2012

“But when poetry lays its hand on our shoulder we are, to an almost physical degree, touched and moved. The imagination’s roads open before us, giving the lie to that brute dictum, ‘There is no alternative’.”

Adrienne Rich

~

Poetry Foundation Bio

~

Read – and listen to her read – “Fox”

~

From “21 Love Poems” –

VI.

Your small hands, precisely equal to my own—
only the thumb is larger, longer—in these hands
I could trust the world, or in many hands like these,
handling power-tools or the steering-wheel
or touching a human face…. Such hands could turn
the unborn child rightways in the birth canal
or pilot the exploratory rescue ship
through icebergs, or piece together
the fine, needle-like sherds of a great crater-cup
bearing on its sides
figures of ecstatic women striding
to the sibyl’s den or the Eleusinian cave—
such hands might carry out an unavoidable violence
with such restraint, with such a grasp
of the range and limits of violence
that violence ever after would be obsolete.

~

From “Diving Into the Wreck” –

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

~

from “Dreamwood” –

‎”poetry
isn’t revolution but a way of knowing
why it must come”

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