Sunday, July 28, 2013

This half – world


Yes; and we still have to reckon with Swift
loathing the women’s flesh while praising her mind,
Goethe’s dread of the mothers, Claudel vilifying Gide,
and the ghosts – their hands clasped for centuries -
of artists dying in childbirth, wise-women charred at the stake,
Centuries of books unwritten piled behind these shelves;
and we still have to stare into absence
of men who would not, women who could not, speak
to our life – this still unexcavated hole
called civilization, this act of translation, this half – world.

From 21 Love Poems (V) by Adrienne Rich

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