2 Apr

BookPeople

In recognition of National Poetry Month we remember the late Adrienne Rich, who’s work was has shaped the world of contemporary poetry as we know it.

V.

This apartment full of books could crack open
to the thick jaws, the bulging eyes
of monsters, easily: Once open the books, you have to face
the underside of everything you’ve loved—
the rack and pincers held in readiness, the gag
even the best voices have to mumble through,
the silence burying unwanted children—
women, deviants, witnesses—in desert sand.
Kenneth tells me he’s been arranging his books
so he can look at Blake and Kafka while he types;
yes; and we still have to reckon with Swift
loathing the woman’s flesh while praising her mind,
Goethe’s dread of the Mothers, Claudel vilifying Gide,
and the ghosts—their hands, clasped for centuries—
of artists dying in childbirth, wise-women charred at the stake,
centuries of books…

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