Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adrienne Rich is Rich in Writing

Adrienne Rich was born in 1929 and is thought of very highly in the world of poetry and in literature in general. She is known as one of the front runners for feminism and has written many books of poetry and essays. I picked up Telephone Ringing In The Labyrinth, published by W.W. Norton and Company in 2007, a collection of poems from 2004 – 2006 at my local library. (What on earth would I do without a library? What would you do without one?) There are two poems I quite enjoy and they happen to be back to back, so to speak, in this collection.

One is titled “Calibrations” and it caught my eye because it mentions a prosthetic hand and a ghostlimb. “A prosthetic hand calibrates perfectly/the stem of a glass/or how to stroke a face/…” It catches my eye because in my personal life I am close to someone who uses a prosthetic limb. Also the same with “ghostlimb” where her lines say “it’ll come with you the ghostlimb/…the shadow blind/echo of your body spectre of your soul/…” Again, it catches my eye for personal reasons. However, the poem itself is beautiful and raises eyebrows as you ponder the person tuning their guitar in the beginning and the poem which then shifts to the idea of the person’s touch being replaced by the prosthetic hand which cannot feel touch.

The second poem is “Skeleton Key” and I just love each and every line I have to say. Adrienne Rich is just wonderful at poems with marvelous lines that catch your eye and set you thinking, but I just happen to love the long and short lines of this poem. How does she do it? The way she spaces words out or divides them up makes it an enjoyable read. I can’t copy the way the lines are arranged thanks to the blog program being a bit stubborn, but I can quote some lines: “a small wound, swallow-shaped, on my wrist/ripped by a thorn/exacerbated by ash and salt/…” the imagery there is beautiful and somber at the same time don’t you think? Then there is “Then I slept, and had a dream/ No more/No mas/From now on, only/reason’s drugged and dreamless sleep/…” it seems such a simple thing to say yet it makes you pause… Just a wonderful poem.

The entire book is, of course, a worthwhile read and I hope you will look up her books in the store or library. I have also included a link below so you can find out more about her.


Thanks for reading, please stop by tomorrow…

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