I’m pretty picky about poetry (who isn’t?), mainly because I think quite a lot of it is total rubbish. But I do love poetry. I’m annoyed I’d never come across Adrienne Rich until I heard she died and someone posted this. And it is quite, quite lovely.
This is an excerpt from her Twenty-One Love Poems
No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone.
The accidents happen, we’re not heroines,
they happen in our lives like car crashes,
books that change us, neighborhoods
we move into and come to love.
Tristan und Isolde is scarcely the story,
women at least should know the difference
between love and death. No poison cup,
no penance. Merely a notion that the tape-recorder
should have caught some ghost of us: that tape-recorder
not merely played but should have listened to us,
and could instruct those after us:
this we were, this is how we tried to love,
and these are the forces they had ranged against us,
and these are the forces we had ranged within us,
within us and against us, against us and within us.
You can read the full version here.