the school among the ruins (Rich)

Thanks to colleagues and a few specific poems, I knew of Rich’s skill, but I’ve finally taken the time to make a deep dive. The title poem (http://riseuptimes.org/2012/07/17/adrienne-rich-the-school-among-the-ruins/) is amazing. It’s a perfect picture of our times.

There are other highlights in this collection, including “This Evening Let’s,” “Usonian Journals,” (“Keeping my back against unimportant walls I moved out of / range of the confusion” “White people doing and seeing no evil.” “Imagine written language that walks away from human conversation.”) “Transparencies” (“the power to hurl words is a weapon”), “Collaborations,” “Slashes,” “Dislocations: Seven Scenarios” (“look at the stars / reality’s autographs”) and “Screen Door” are all incredible. Consider this, from “Screen Door” —

A long phone call with many pauses. /
It was gesture’s code
we were used to using, we were
awkward without it

As that example demonstrates, Rich is wonderful with line breaks and caesura (the latter of which is a technique I don’t think I really appreciated until now). Here’s another example, from “Alternating Current” —

but I was there saw what you didn’t
take the care

Astonishing stuff.

Explore more: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/search/?q=Adrienne+Rich

[Wordpress seems to be resisting my efforts to match Rich’s formatting. Trust me; it’s magnificent.]

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