Thursday, May 01, 2008

ADRIENNE RICH ...a candid poet


I have to admit to being nearly illiterate when it comes to poetry. Although I am an avid reader (at least two books a week) I do not seem to be able to relate to most poetry. Recently, however, I was perusing a book by Bill Moyers, titled The Language of Life, a Festival of Poets and I came across this poem by Adrienne Rich. It really spoke to me.

Perhaps that is because she is in my age group. Perhaps it is because she is a feminist thinker and political activist. Perhaps it is because I have the same fears.

I love the fact that she refused offers from both the Clinton and the Bush administrations to perform at White House functions. That tells me that she lives what she writes and I think that is rare in this day and age. Here is the poem:

“WHAT KIND OF TIMES ARE THESE”

“There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off in to 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.”

*********************************

11 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

I like the language of that poem, but I'm not sure I understand it all.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

A friend of mine emailed me her comment because she said she couldn't get in on her password.
So, here is it....

Ginny, I love the poem you posted. It resonates so with me today as the DOT is tearing out the bridge over the river and the Compassionate Pumpkin vine next door has been uprooted. Loved your other pieces as well.
Take care, Sarah

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Sara said...

Hello,

I'm an Italian girl and I'm working for my Thesis at the University.

My Thesis is about thechnology and elderly; I think it would be a great opportunity for communicate, and also to have useful services. Often Seniors feels that computer are too complicate to understand, they speak a sort of foreign language, and don't use it; of course this is not true and all they need, I think, is to be shown all the benefits.

So I would like to know about you, the idea to have a very nice blog, your connection with computer, Internet, when you have started using it...everything you write me , (if you want to write me, of course!!) I think it would be interesting for me!!If you want I'llgive you my email address...

Best greetings!!!

Sara

12:31 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Sara: if you will go to my blog of July 18, 2006 it will tell you exactly why I blog and how I got started.
I have often written about my love of Italy and of my two trips there so it would be fun to get to know you better. What University are you at and what degree are you going for? All the best, Ginnie

2:16 PM  
Blogger Bud said...

She is a candid poet
and thanks to you I knowit.

( I know...awful!!)

2:26 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

A good poem. I will google her to find out more about this poetess.

I am glad you dropped by my blog. While I am a Canadian I am very interested in the US, where I lived for 10 years and served a couple of churches. My son, born in Cambridge, Ma, has duel citizenship. My brother and family lives in Charlotte, NC. I have American cousins. My denomination is deeply rooted in American history. Recently, I have discovered Appalachan literature. I am on my fourth Lee Smith book. They seem to all have strong women in them. I am very fond of New England.

On the other hand, like so many Americans, I am very saddened by the record of the Bush Presidency and believe he and others are war criminals. My frequent criticisms of the US are out of my care from your country. I trust the damage will be repaired in the next generation.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...

I'm studing Science of Education at University of Turin; my Thesis is about Learning Technology.
In leave not in Turin but in a small town at more or less 30 Km from there.
Have you ever been in Piedmont?

12:38 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Sara: if you will click on to my profile you'll see that I have added my email address so you will be able to email me directly and we can continue our correspondence.
Then I'll tell you all the places I visited in Italy, etc.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Crayons said...

Hi Ginnie,
Yes, that is indeed a coincidence. I'm with you in terms of poetry. I read a lot -- mostly essays -- but don't read poetry. I've heard of Adrienne Rich, but don't know her poetry.
Thanks for this little introduction.

5:05 PM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

great poem. I love Bill Moyers and read a lot of his interviews and collections.

12:10 PM  
Blogger a little bird said...

i love mr. moyers. have you ever read his son's book, Broken? It follows the terrible and tragic path of one man's battle with addiction. For an alcoholic, it's a must read!

thanks so much for the poem. I love poetry, and am looking forward to exploring this woman's work.

1:04 PM  

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