Thursday, June 09, 2022

A thought about a poem by Adrienne Rich, and her response to it

In Adrienne Rich's "Collected Poems 1950-2012", I have been tracking images of indoor scenes, especially bedrooms, kitchens, tables, and windows: such interiors run through Rich's poems as sites of conversation and work. Just now, while reading "Revolution in Permanence (1953, 1993)" from Rich's "Dark Fields of the Republic: Poems 1951-1995", I found the opening image of a poster of Ethel Rosenberg seen "through a barn window" vivid, but the rest of the poem blunt. Then the motto of the next section, "Then or Now", seemed to respond to that thought: "Is it necessary for me to write obliquely / about the situation? Is that what / you would have me do?"  (Andrew Shields, #111words, 9 June 2022)

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