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    VALERIEMAHA   51,674
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A great woman....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One of our national treasures, poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, died today. She was one of America's foremost public intellectuals.

by Adrienne Rich

In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand
there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see
or the child's older self, a poet,
a woman dreaming when she should be typing
the last report of the day. If this were a map,
she thinks, a map laid down to memorize
because she might be walking it, it shows
ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert
here and there a sign of aquifers
and one possible watering-hole. If this were a map
it would be the map of the last age of her life,
not a map of choices but a map of variations
on the one great choice. It would be the map by which
she could see the end of touristic choices,
of distances blued and purpled by romance,
by which she would recognize that poetry
isn't revolution but a way of knowing
why it must come. If this cheap, mass-produced
wooden stand from the Brooklyn Union Gas Co.,
mass-produced but durable, being here now,
is what it is yet a dream-map
so obdurate, so plain,
she thinks, the material and the dream can join
and that is the poem and that is the late report.
If you would like one more, this was just shared by a former classmate of mine:


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, leafmold 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.
And this *postscript* from her:

What would it mean to live
in a city whose people were changing
each other's despair into hope? --
You yourself must change it. --
what would it feel like to know
your country was changing? --
You yourself must change it. --
Though your life felt arduous
new and unmapped and strange
What would it mean to stand on the first
page to the end of despair?
RIP Adrienne Rich

Here is today's article from the Los Angeles Times:


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
WATERMELLEN 3/29/2012 7:25PM

    Thanks, MAHA.

We are standing on the first
page to the end of despair.

And it means everything. Yeah!!

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KALIGIRL 3/29/2012 8:48AM

    Here's to all of using our gifts...
Namaste my friend.

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CRYSTALJEM 3/29/2012 8:14AM

    Thank you for sharing. Her beautiful words opened my heart this morning.

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    What powerful words...thanks for posting this.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/28/2012 9:45PM

    I didn't know that. Thanks Maha. The world is a better place because of her gifts.

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KRISKECK 3/28/2012 8:52PM

    Thank you. I know of her and appreciate it. Sadness ...

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SUNNY332 3/28/2012 8:21PM

    Beautiful - loved it.

What a passionate writer. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

Hugs, Sunny

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REBCCA 3/28/2012 7:53PM

    Thanks for this lovely post emoticon

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K-PO110 3/28/2012 7:43PM

    Beautiful - thank you for sharing.

A sad loss indeed.

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GIANTPANDA 3/28/2012 7:35PM

    Wow, thank you for sharing these beautiful, powerful poems. I was very saddened to learn that Adrienne Rich has passed away.

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CARRAND 3/28/2012 7:02PM

    Thank you for sharing. Love the poetry.

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    beautiful! saying a prayer for her.

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/28/2012 6:24PM

    Thanks for sharing this. It's always sad to lose creative people who've contributed beauty to the world.

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KAT573 3/28/2012 6:20PM

    THANK you for sharing this woman, her poetry and the article. I love your sharings, missed them and am glad to be back! emoticon

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DDOORN 3/28/2012 6:16PM

    So sorry to have been introduced to Ms. Rich upon her death, but always relish the new voices (to me, at least) that you introduce us to, 'Maha.


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