A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

My swirling wants. Your frozen lips.
The grammar turned and attacked me.
Themes, written under duress.
Emptiness of the notations.

They gave me a drug that slowed the healing of wounds.

I want you to see this before I leave:
the experience of repetition as death
the failure of criticism to locate the pain
the poster in the bus that said:
my bleeding is under control

A red plant in a cemetary of plastic wreaths.

A last attempt: the language is a dialect called metaphor.
These images go unglossed: hair, glacier, flashlight.
When I think of a landscape I am thinking of a time.
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever.
I could say: those mountains have a meaning
but further than that I could not say.

To do something very common, in my own way.

by Adrienne Rich

Comments (4)

A surrealist work that requires many readings. And I apologize for pigeon-holing it.
I had a few problems appreciating the beginning of this poem, but the ending is so powerful. So I made a point of reading it several times and focusing my mind (a rare event, being a bit scatterbrained) . And I find I do appreciate this poem in its entirety, though, I still consider the ending with that magnificent final line rather more spectacular. Peace, L&T
To do something very common, in my own way........said in a special deep manner here........hems
I'll get the hang of this one day. There's a crock of gold to be found I'm sure. I sense it but can't find it. I like enigmas. Well done