Pilgrimpace's Blog

lenten journey – seventeen

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Adrienne Rich, the great American poet.  There are obituaries here and here.  There is a necessary fusion of poetry and politics in her voice and there is no one like her in feminist spirituality.

Divisions of Labour

The revolutions wheel, compromise, utter their statements:

a new magazine appears, mastheaded with old names,

an old magazine polishes up its act

with deconstructions of the prose of Malcolm X

The women in the back row of politics

are still licking thread to slip into the needle’s

eye, trading bones for plastic, splitting pods

for necklaces to sell to cruise-ships

producing immaculate First Communion dresses

with flatiron and irresolute hot water

still fitting the microscopic golden wires

into the silicon chips

still teaching, watching the children

quenched in the crossfire alleys, the flashflood gullies

the kerosene flashfires

– the women whose labour remakes the world

each and every morning

.                                                      I have seen a woman sitting

between the stove and the stars

her fingers singed from snuffing out the candles

of pure theory    Finger and thumb: both scorched:

I have felt that sacred wax blister my hand

– Adrienne Rich


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