SONG BY ADRIENNE RICH

You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean.

 

You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely

 

If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawns’ first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep

 

If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning

 

From Diving Into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich. Copyright © 1973 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 Comments

  1. […] But in the same way that it hurts to be reminded how separate I am from every other being on the planet, it is freeing to be reminded that I’m the only one that gets to live my life. I’m free to handle situations the way I want. I’m free to grieve over the changes in my life–even more free to grow from them. I’m free to decide what’s good enough for me, what I want, and what I’m willing to do to get there. I’m free to be happy with the  woman I’m becoming. Most of all, I’m free to become her–separate, wonderful, and with a gift for burning.** […]

  2. […] transformed into something that may be a gift provided for others.” Then she read to us Adrienne Rich’s poem “Song” and then “The Annunciation” by Rilke, about the angel of Gabriel. Closing with words […]

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