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Diving Into The Wreck

Adrienne Rich

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Added by: Rien
It is a deep impression of unconsistency. If you read the line," My flippers cripple me," You understand the depth that is ment.
Powerful Images of Death
Added by: John
This is one of the more powerful poems about futility and death. At least the way I read it.

"the drowned face always staring
toward the sun"

"we are the half-destoryed instruments
that once held to a course
the water eaten log
the fouled compass"

Very powerful and interesting lines describing the aftermath of death, and the way we live our lives. I suggest everyone read this.
Added by: timothy george
this poem is kind of enticing a close voice calling objects and elements but very sensational -as oppossed to sensual- emotionally(?) plunging strings lines hearts.
Added by: Connor
Crazy piece about how men and women are both casualties of a confused sexuality. It's about viewing the corpse objectively, as neither a man nor a woman (the corpse, also is androgenous) and dispelling old myths. Cool stuff.
Added by: kevin
This poem is really about an individual finding themselves. The entire metaphor is the diver and the ship wreck. A person protects themselves before seeking their self-discovery with all of the diving gear because of the unknown. A person will always discover a "wreck" in their past but most look past that for the treasures that have been buried away. The last couple stanzas speak of how we are all together in this feat of self-discovery and we must always seek our past and ourselves in ORDER to create our future.
Added by: SFitz
Rich was a Civil Rights and anti-war activist in the 60s. She consistently intertwines politics and poetry. This poem was written in 1973, and is about the feminist struggle. She is alone in this journey to the depths of the earth, to a place pre-civilization, yet she has the comfort of knowing others before her have taken the same journey. It is a journey that must be taken alone, although in much of Rich's writing she refers to a group of people, or even society as a whole, as one. The wreck is the damage that has been done over hundreds, thousands of years that has led to the oppression or at least the inequality of women, and a patriarchal society. Her book of myths are the falsities instilled in the minds of those in Western society, including gender roles, which she disspells when she incorporates both man and woman into her body. The book of myths ("in which our names do not appear") may also be the Bible, seeing as how women are portrayed as the root of sin and men as our Lord and saviors. Main idea of the poem: "I came to explore the wreck... the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail...I am she: I am he."
Basically, to achieve an ideal world, one would have to travel backward to a time before humans existed (since gender roles began in theory with Adam and Eve the creator of sin) and we would have to start EVERYTHING over from scratch- "And besides/ you breathe differently down here." We would have to create a society minus gender roles and become one people- "the one who find our way back to this scene."
universal poem
Added by: JDog
I strongly disagree with SFitz's comments on Feminism. Though it was true that Adrienne was a strong fighter for women's rights, I believe she was aiming for a more universal idea. The line "we circle silently about the wreck" depicts that the character has not gone to change anything, but to solely observe "the evidence of the damage". The person can't change what has already been done, and may only "stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank". This dive is not to ridicule or change, but mainly to explore and gain knowledge.
a thought on the necessity of writing in the first
Added by: neil mulligan
Rich has written this poem in the first person and as an extended metaphor for several reasons. Firstly, and act like a dive is a very personal and individual experience which can be very challenging and scary. This is why Rich’s quest into the patriarchal world of fifties and sixties America is represented so adequately by the metaphor. Also she is writing this poem as part of the feminist movement, and there are sure to be thousands of other women wishing to follow in her footsteps. For this reason I think it is important that she be writing in the first person as if to say that this is what I have done, and even though, as the metaphor suggests, it was not easy, so can you the reader. Right from the start of this poem, Rich talks about reading the book of myths which I think alludes to the patriarchal state of America, she has first read this book (or worried about the reality of the male orientated world) and then prepared to get her diving gear on and go and see if the wreck matches up the myth (or go into the real world as a feminist to see what difference she can make or treasure she can find). The conclusion of the poem therefore talks of finding a way back to the wreckage carrying that same book of myths, only this time ‘our names do not appear’. The significance of this line is that having engaged on this personal conquest, the myth of the male orientated world no longer applies to her, and all those who read with her and ‘dived’ with her. The myth has been quashed by the symbolic and brave actions of ‘rolling up of sleeves’ and getting in there and fighting for equality. First person in this poem is the most apt style to write such a propaganda-based poem. The most essential idea I believe that Adrienne Rich needed to get across was that I have done it and now so can you. This could only be achieved by writing in the first person. thanks you guys at plagiarist.com i have benefited from you greatly.
Added by: Amanda
The first line of the poem reveals a book of myths. I believe the book she carries contains the societal myths that separate men and women. She also carries a knife to maybe cut away the past and a camera to record the new one she hopes to discover. She dives into the wreck, the mess this battle of the sexes created, hoping to write new myths, of love and passion in order to heal humanity. Also, she dives to discover maybe the truth behind these myths. I think Adrienne is the speaker of this piece, and she is gearing up to redefine the roles of men and women and to look beyond gender. She’s alone in this piece, signifying that maybe sometimes she feels alone in her fight towards equality for women in a male dominated world.
When she gets down there she finds a corpse that is also treasure. Line 83 I think refers to her and maybe all women. She sees a piece of herself in the corpse, herself as a dominated woman under the “curse” of a patriarchal world. I think what the speaker intends to say that she is surviving this wreck.
Lines 34-36 and 50-51 give me the feeling that maybe she is in a daze or blacking out, but still holds some kind of control. I’ve been diving before and it is sort of a surreal world down there, even ways we would move or even communicate are different. The power her mask contains is symbolic, as it pumps her full of power while she is diving.
Added by: Jaysto'
The stanza there about the ladder--amazing... .

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