28 March 2012

Farewell to a Poet


photo by Robert Giard

The L.A. Times is reporting that Adrienne Rich has died.

Her words, discovered at an early and impressionable age, changed my life.

I return to them frequently. They are a gift she has now left behind for us.

Read "Diving Into the Wreck", my favorite American poem of the last 50 years at least. Read "What Kind of Times Are These".

I remember this interview with her from 1994, which I read so many times in The Progressive that I still have some of her responses memorized.

Make sure these books, at the very very least, are on your shelves: The Fact of a Doorframe; An Atlas of the Difficult WorldOn Lies, Secrets, and Silence; What is Found There.

The loss sends me into silence. Perhaps I will be able to say more later. For now, this:

I wanted to go somewhere
the brain had not yet gone
I wanted not to be
there so alone.

—from "Letters to a Young Poet" in Midnight Salvage
by Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)

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