Conflict Poem: Adrienne Rich (1929-2012): ‘An Atlas of the Difficult World’

 

 

Here is a map of our country:
here is the Sea of Indifference, glazed with salt
This is the haunted river flowing from brow to groin
we dare not taste its water
This is the desert where missiles are planted like corns
This is the breadbasket of foreclosed farms
This is the birthplace of the rockabilly boy
This is the cemetery of the poor
who died for democracy This is a battlefield
from a nineteenth-century war the shrine is famous
This is the sea-town of myth and story when the fishing fleets
went bankrupt here is where the jobs were on the pier
processing frozen fish sticks hourly wages and no shares
These are other battlefields Centralia Detroit here are the forests
primeval the copper the silver lodes
These are the Suburbs of acquiescence silence rising fume like from the streets
This is the capital of money and dolor whose spires
flare up through air inversions whose bridges are crumbling
whose children are drifting blind alleys pent
between coiled rolls of razor wire
I promised to show you a map you say but this is a mural
then yes let it be these are small distinctions
where do we see it from is the question

See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrienne_Rich

Adrienne:

Adrienne Rich, Trumansburg, New York, October 2001.jpg

 

 

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Maps, Conflict Poetry, Economic Conflict, Environmental Conflict, US Political Conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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