Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

Adrienne Rich April

Filed in Stories :: April 1, 2012

In 1987 I read Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born in a Women’s Studies class.

I was 23, and I was changed forever.

It seems fitting to read her again in April 2012,
after a month of marvelous posts by women friends,
after Rich’s death last Tuesday.

It seems fitting to spend April’s posts here within the framework of her words.

It seems fitting, too, to begin with an excerpt
from “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law,” from 1963:

2.

Banging the coffee-pot into the sink
she hears the angels chiding, and looks out
past the raked gardens to the sloppy sky.
Only a week since They said: Have no patience.

The next time it was: Be insatiable.
Then: Save yourself; others you cannot save.
Sometimes she’s let the tapstream scald her arm,
a match burn to her thumbnail,

or held her hand above the kettle’s snout
right in the woolly steam. They are probably angels,
since nothing hurts her anymore, except
each morning’s grit blowing into her eyes.

::

Have no patience. Be insatiable. Save yourself; others you cannot save.

 

 

 

 

Filed in Stories