In her acceptance speech for the National Book Award, she said,
“Poetry is not a healing lotion, an emotional massage, a kind of linguistic aromatherapy. Neither is it a blueprint, nor an instruction manual, nor a billboard.”
For me, poetry is all of those things. And Adrienne, I wish I could tell you this: your poems have been those things for me. Like this one:
Diving into the Wreck
by Adrienne Rich
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubber the absurd flippers the grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with his assiduous team aboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone. There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element.complete poem here
I am loving all the poetic goodness filling the world so far this month! Don't forget to see the progress of our Progressive Poem, now showing at Mary Lee's A Year of Reading. And yay for the amazing and generous and talented Robyn who's hosting Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Read. Write. Howl.