By Adrienne Rich
"Rich's lyrics are strong and mournful, sopping wet in memory." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Adrienne wealthy is hard, as a poet and as a philosopher. The poems in mobile Ringing within the Labyrinth are packed with traps and snares and difficulties that stream in circles. She’s so deft, in a few enigmatic manner, that she manages to drag off references and turns of word that will sink the other poet’s paintings, that will look pretentious or overwrought in different palms. within the nine-part “Draft #2006,” that can be my favourite piece during this quantity, she fees Karl Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach partially 4, visits a farmer swallowing pesticide in Andhra Pradesh partly six, and talks concerning the “thereness” of a specific thing partly 9 -- and but someway, via whatever edgier and brainier than magic, the poem is rarely heavy-handedly political or philosophical. It’s simply thought-provoking. And round. And tough. you'll sit down stewing over the 1st line -- “Suppose we got here again as ghosts asking the unasked questions” -- for hours, after which there are principles and pictures that offer natural excitement with their secret. The “border of poetry” is “dreamfaces blurring horrorlands.” In “rooms of mahogany and leather,/ conversations open in overseas code. Thighs and buttocks to open later by way of/ arrangement.” there's something undying approximately this poem, even supposing it’s approximately timeliness:
They requested me, is that this time worse than another.
I stated, for whom?
Wanted to teach them anything. whereas I wrote at the
chalkboard they drifted out. I grew to become again to an empty room.
Maybe I couldn’t write speedy sufficient. might be it was once too soon.
“Draft #2006” made me take into consideration what it should suggest to catch this second in heritage with a poem. There are poets who've succeeded in grabbing a second, epically and forever -- T.S. Eliot’s “Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock” does it, and Ginsburg’s “Howl,” and several other of Auden’s poems and, might be so much completely, Dan Pagis’s “Written in Pencil within the Sealed Railway Car.” As I begin to give it some thought, such a lot of powerful poems do trap the instant, rigidly and obviously. “Draft #2006,” as I reread it, is the sort of -- it captures a time on this planet, within the human global, that's slippery, lovely and perhaps inevitable.
There are puzzles and their attainable suggestions all through this quantity, and the lifeless -- skeletons, ghosts, casualties of conflict and famine, composers via their song, well-known philosophers via their phrases, William Blake -- emerge many times to invite questions. They locate solutions in mystery codes -- “ghost limbs move into spasm within the night,” “history as wallpaper/urgently chosen clipped and pasted/but the room itself nowhere,” “the exits are slick with people/going someplace quickly, ” “And underneath the outside of boredom/ indecipherable fear.” There are strangely apt convergences, unforeseen rules and subject matters that make experience jointly, as in “Hubble pictures: After Sappho”:
These impersonae, despite the fact that we name them
won’t invade us as on motion picture screens
they are so previous, so new, we aren't to them
we examine them or don’t from in the milky gauze
of our tilted gazing
but they don’t glance again and we can't harm them
These are the works of a mature poet, an individual who speaks many metaphorical languages -- math, technology, politics, song, grief -- and smoothes all of them into one historic, new language. it truly is infrequent that somebody within the twenty first Century, somebody with a posh schooling and an intensive bent and laurels to leisure on, doesn’t lose it as a poet, turning predictable, writing approximately trivia with no exposing greater than what’s at the web page. yet by some means, Adrienne wealthy is trickily coping with it, needling on the dermis, writing real, actual poems. there are such a lot of dreadful instructions wealthy could’ve long past, following on flawed turns taken by means of such a lot of different once-great 20th century poets -- maudlin speeches, off-putting, phony sagas of gooey Californian intercourse, predictable memoirs. in its place, in her seventies, Adrienne wealthy has written a magnetic, attention-grabbing masterwork."