Thursday, May 17, 2012


 What Kind of Times Are These
    By Adrienne Rich
There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass
grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leaf mold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.
Yesterday was "the birthday of poet Adrienne Rich, born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1929. Both her parents loved books, and her father, a doctor, encouraged her to write poems even when she was just a young girl. So she studied the poets in her father's library—all of them men—and she adopted their conventional, formal style to write about feminism and sexuality and identity.  Rich wrote two dozen volumes of poetry, including A Change of World (1951), and Diving Into the Wreck (1973), and several books of prose. She passed away this March, from complications of rheumatoid arthritis. She said, "You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it." (from NPR The Writers Almanac 5/16/2012)
Previous Post
Diving Into The Wreck

A Great Resource

1 comment:

*jean* said...

a beautiful tribute post, thank you for the links...i do love poetry...hope you have a great weekend