Tag Archives: Diving into the Wreck

Adrienne Rich: Song

In honor of the passing of poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, I thought I’d share a haunting poem from her National Book Award winning collection Diving into the Wreck:

Martin Ott

Song

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

dawn’s 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 red light of the year

that knows what it is, that I know it’s neither

ice nor mud nor winter light

but wood, with a gift for burning

1971

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