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Poetry

The World As It Is: Learning To Read Adrienne Rich

The words are purposes.
​The words are maps.

            —Adrienne Rich, from Diving into the Wreck

When I think of Adrienne Rich, I think about the differences between maps and routes, between shortcuts and whole geographies. I think about the difference between following directions that lead you straight from A to B and sitting down with your Atlas of the Difficult World with no destination yet in mind. I think about trying to take in all that maps have to tell you with your heart and eyes open, about looking to learn without knowing what you will find or where this new knowledge will lead you. When I think about Adrienne Rich, I think of the different ways we learn, the different ways we come to know the world, ourselves, and vice versa. 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Poetry." (Viewed on October 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/poetry>.

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