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Getting On : Literature Reviews

"Diving into the Wreck" By Adrienne Rich

from elisha717 - Friday, May 16, 2008
accessed 711 times

I read this poem and was intrigued by its symbolic meaning to life.

Rich starts the poem by talking about the "book of mythes" and how most people start out in a relationship ("life") with a certain idea of how life should be.

In my interpetation, she comes to the point in her life where she stands back from her immediate situations and decides to start looking at things from an observer perspective, and from a realistic point of view.

So she dives down deep into the ocean to get a good look at the damage that was done, and no matter how hard this is for her, she has to do this alone, and she has to go the full circle.

She brings her camera, (which represents her memories, and even though some are bad, she is using them to help her learn from them).She sees the "drowning faces who sleep with their eyes open," and who "bear the stress on their breasts." She notices other people who are down there circling the wreck, and realises that like her, they are also trying to move on with their lives.

When she finally feels she is ready to go back up, she no longer has her name in the "book of mythes" (because she now has a more realistic view on life and love), and she can finally clear her camera, so that she can start creating "new memories"; moreover, her knife (which before she used as a weapon) is now a tool used to help her in life.

So to sum it all up, (in my opinion of course), she no longer has an unrealistic view on life or her failed relationships. She now is ready to try again as a stronger and a more independent person.

Since this is me in a nut shell I shall say no more!! (Thank's for listening to my point of view! Any other interpretations are welcomed by me!)

Diving into the Wreck
Adrienne Rich

First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubberthe absurd flippersthe grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with hisassiduous teamaboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone.

There is a ladder.The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner.We know what it is for, we who have used it. Other wise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atomsphere of our human air. I go down.

My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefsand besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck.The words are purposes.The words are maps.

I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and away into this thread bare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. This is the place.

And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body. We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. I am she: I am he whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes whose breasts still bear the stress whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrel shalf-wedged and left to rot we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course the water-eaten log the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.

From Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich. Copyright © 1973 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author and W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright 1973 by Adrienne Rich.

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from madly
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 22:53

As I have said before, this is why poetry can be so powerful, because we all take from it what we put into it. The events that have shaped us, the feelings we presently hold effect the reactions we automatically have in regards to everything, including poetry, music, etc. The same poem may seem to hold completely contrasting meanings for two people who have experienced different lives altering their views, causing them to feel, or see things, in very different ways.
We subconsciously add the meaning into everything around us. We are the center of our own universe, and the world does revolve around us in this way. We create our own reality according to the feelings given and experiences shared. It is ours alone, and we too often forget, that most times, it may only be true to us alone. Poetry is a very personal reflection of our individuality.
(reply to this comment)
From elisha717
Thursday, May 22, 2008, 09:08

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

What can I say when you are completely RIGHT!  One reason I post my opinions on articles that I read, are because, for exactly the reason you have just said.  I love reading the articles posted that have the opinion and point of view of the person who posted the article!

I think anyone can find material to read, but to hear from another person's individual experience, and how this material affects their thought pattern is very interesting for me!

I love hearing real life stories about what has brought a person to where they are at today!  You have a lot of passion inside you madly, so with any doubt in my mind you have had a lot of different things happen to you, and I am sure your story about what has brought you this far is very interesting!  (reply to this comment

From madly
Thursday, May 22, 2008, 14:21

Thank you. I am sure that all of us, who were born into TF, have interesting stories to tell. I am hardly alone in this way, as I am sure you are well aware, having your own. :) (reply to this comment
from Big Sister
Monday, May 19, 2008 - 16:52

Hmmm, getting tough to get through and post comments these days...

Anyway, thanks for writing about the poem. I especially love the last line.
(reply to this comment)
From elisha717
Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 06:02

Thanks.(reply to this comment

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