I was hoping to share Adrienne Rich‘s poem “Cartographies of Silence” with you since I love it and I actually kind of understand it, but I’ve seen other websites have had to remove it due to copyright issues. She holds a special place in my heart, partly because I’m in awe of her talent and vision, and partly because I was first introduced to her at a time in my life for which I feel very nostalgic (lookin’ at you, Laura Carroll!). Instead of a poem about silence, here is this, which I think I also love, but which I barely understand at all. Let’s peruse it together, shall we, and honor this amazing poet whose death (Last Tuesday! And I only found out yesterday. The shame…) has left a meaningful silence in the world.
by Adrienne Rich
In paradise every
the desert wind is rising
in hell there are no thoughts
is of earth
sand screams against your government
issued tent hell’s noise
in your nostrils crawl
into your ear-shell
wrap yourself in no-thought
wait no place for the little lyric
wedding-ring glint the reason why
they never told you
Question: What images, impressions, or thoughts come to mind as you read this poem?