Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Death of a poet

Adrienne Rich, 1929-2012. Never personally cared for her anthology pieces, but a great feminist and poet. Plath, a few years younger, saw her as the (female) poet to beat, and jealously diarized Rich's prizes etc.

NMC notes the parallel death of Earl Scruggs, causing one to ponder the aesthetic juxtaposition as well as to wonder whether the angel of death took the wrong Scruggs.

... 3QD posts a 1968 poem by Rich:
I Dream I'm the Death of Orpheus

I am walking rapidly through striations of light and dark thrown
under an arcade.

I am a woman in the prime of life, with certain powers
and those powers severly limited
by authorities whose faces I rarely see.
I am a woman in the prime of life
driving her dead poet in a black Rolls-Royce
through a landscape of twilight and thorns.
A woman with a certain mission
which if obeyed to the letter will leave her intact.
A woman with nerves of a panther
a woman with contacts among Hell's Angels
a woman feeling the fullness of her powers
at the precise moment when she must not use them
a woman sworn to lucidity
who sees through the mayhem, the smoky fires
of these underground streets
her dead poet learning to walk backward against the wind
on the wrong side of the mirror.


  1. But first, there was Ezra Pound, the "mad" poet of St. Elizbath's.

  2. The connection seems a bit forced, though I am confident that Rich studied the Pisan Cantos at least.

    Sad to think that Plath could easily still be alive, had competent psychiatric care been provided. You don't give a suicidal patient antidepressants and then send her on her not-so-merry way. The drugs will bolster her will to actually attempt suicide before they diminish her desire to do so. Some teen suicides a few years ago were being attributed to the same error, in our era of mass prescription of antidepressants.

  3. That's St. ElizAbEth's Mental Hospital in DC.

    I remember, upon watching a CBS report upon Pound's release from St. Elizabeth's, a reporter asking Pound if he would be returning to Italy or would he reside here in the US.

    He said, "I'd have to be crazy to want to live here."

    Were it not for the efforts of UN Secretary Dag Hammerskjold, I doubt that Ike would have agreed to Pound's release. Hammerskjold would later die in a plane crash during the Congo crisis and, according to journalist Wayne Madsen, the plane was brought down by Belgian mercenaries firing on ther UN plane.

    Ike had ordered the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961 by the DIA and I would not doubt Ike was involved in Hammarskjold's death.

  4. That would've been quite a conspiracy, Pug, since Kennedy was president at the time.

  5. Anderson~

    The Eisenhower presidency ended on 20JAN1961 with JFK's inaguration.

    Congo's Patrice Lumumba was liquidated on Ike's orders on 17JAN1961. Do the math.

    I've never heard on what date the Lumumba assassination "conspiracy/plot" was hatched.

    At 1:02 into the video, DIA agent nails Ike.

  6. Obit from Haaretz:no Ezra Pound, for sure.

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