I lieu of her death, for a poetry assignment this week, I was asked to imitate one of Adrienne Rich’s poems. Although I’ve already imitated her “Twenty-One Love Poems” and been influenced by “Diving into the Wreck,” I decided to imitate the poem “Power” for this particular assignment. I paid particularly close attention to the lines she used in “Power,” and I tried to imitate the poem line by line. As a result, I was able to further explore the poetic lust I (and so many others) felt for Adrienne. I was able to imitate her tribute to Marie Curie and somewhat pay tribute to Adrienne. She was a poetic, feminist, queer icon to so many individuals, and although I don’t think this imitation is 100% complete, I hope that this poem pays further tribute to the impact she made on my life. She truly was phenomenal.
First, here’s a poem influenced by the news of Adrienne’s death and her poem “Diving into the Wreck. It’s still a work in progress.
Diving into the Past
Do you remember the days long ago
when there was pride in one’s craft?
We’d close our eyes and savor the moment,
hanging on to our life rafts.
Profound words would dance between our tongues,
teasing our senses and hearts.
We’d swallow them with the finest of wines,
and discuss the writing art.
Stimulating conversation occurred
fortnightly, shifting between
our rooms, as we exercised our brains,
drinking deep reds and caffeine.
The midnight stars turned to new sunrises.
We said farewell, parted ways.
Our poetic souls were intertwined,
destined to reunite one day.
Now beside our deceased heroes lay our pasts,
symbols of what we used to be,
and as our words are buried in the soil
we recall nights of poetry.
As mentioned earlier, this next one was influenced by “Power.”
Hiding in the fossilized pages of history
Today a finger trembled beneath a yellowed page
and the pressure of three hundred and sixty eight
pages of intricately placed words
collected over fifty-one years.
Today I was reminiscing about Adrienne Rich:
she must have known she was an icon
as she challenged the norm
she so defied
It seems she thrived to the end
in the difference she made
the words that she wrote
the lives that she changed
by simply being unafraid to speak her truth
She died a famous woman making
herself and a source of lust for women everywhere.