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Comment 20 of 50, added on February 11th, 2008 at 9:38 PM.
Line 55 "I came to see the damage that was done" echoes the title of Neil
Young's song "The needle and the damage done" released a year before Rich's
Zack from United States
Comment 19 of 50, added on January 2nd, 2008 at 9:55 PM.
I believe the comment by Patrice Kapur a few boxes down is the most
accurate analysis. I must say, good analysis, sir. Some great insights,
especially about the bias of the reader going into the poem.
And whoever said this poem is boring, I challenge you to increase your
knowledge of poetry. I found poetry extremely boring before I learned of
their techniques. Once you have a better understanding of the techniques of
poetry, it's a whole new world reading it.
Casey from United States
Comment 18 of 50, added on December 18th, 2007 at 12:09 PM.
i hink this poem is really boring and oo long
kira kepka from Chile
Comment 17 of 50, added on November 26th, 2007 at 9:03 PM.
Interesting comments about what the wreck stands for. Personally, I
interpreted as the past.
from United States
Comment 16 of 50, added on May 14th, 2007 at 11:41 PM.
Without providing analysis line by line, I have always interpreted this
poem as a metaphysical one. Viewing the diver as a spiritual being taking
human form and experiencing the physical realm. If you are a spiritual
being and you assume human form, your body or feet would seem to be "absurd
from United States
Comment 15 of 50, added on April 25th, 2007 at 4:37 AM.
What a great piece of work! I haven't read this since college, and it's
better than I remember it--Paul Volponi
Comment 14 of 50, added on April 26th, 2006 at 11:28 AM.
i really enjoyed analyzing Rich's poem. I personally think she is caught
between her feminist views and an experience she is trying to describe as a
woman, something that made her feel devalued, as well as used. I think she
expressess it very well throughout the poem, but she does find herself
using single phrases that sound like she needed to add in to justify her
point of view.
Jason from United States
Comment 13 of 50, added on March 27th, 2006 at 3:31 PM.
I think that there is an unfortunate tendency among poetry readers to view
a writer’s work within the narrow prism of what the reader knows about the
writer’s personal life. I think that this approach may be useful in
deciphering the meaning of poems written by relatively inexperienced poets,
but it makes no sense in analyzing this work, which was completed by one of
our country’s most penetrating and accomplished writers.
Rich is not talking about strictly personal issues (marriage, suicide,
etc.) in this poem; rather, she is thoughtfully and deliberately talking
about the wreckage of our society and the need to go beyond myth (the STORY
of the wreck) so that we can assess the damage actually being caused by our
social structures, as well as recognize the treasures contained within
them. Only by doing so can we correct serious social problems and
simultaneously retain those social norms that are healthy and productive.
Rich takes us on this voyage as a genderless being early in the work,
pointing to a concern about gender-based social definitions, among others,
in the poem. By the end of the piece, she expands her view beyond gender
and addresses the reader as both an individual and part of a collective
whole, directing us to look at the wreck of our society so we can
(presumably) change its course. In the last line, our names do not appear
in the book of myths because the pervasive, patriarchal and limited views
of our society contained in such a book does not match the reality of
Comment 12 of 50, added on February 21st, 2006 at 11:19 AM.
This poem is overrated, get to the point, no one needs this metaphor about
from United States
Comment 11 of 50, added on November 27th, 2005 at 11:39 PM.
I'm dwelling on single phrases: "The words are purposes./The words are
maps." Words ARE purposes and maps. They are intentions we have toward each
other, whether we are aware of those intentions or not; they are ways
toward and away from each other. This is such a brilliant and beautiful
poem, one of Rich's best. (The other great one for me is "Splitting.")
There is deep sadness here, and a sense of being broken by a life that is
much more powerful and vaster than our intentions had led us to believe
when we thought we could set goals and reach them. So what can we do? Throw
away the myths and seek what treasure remains in the devastation of our
dreams. And the treasure is there, obscured, but there. The fact that the
book of myths will remain, but our names will not appear in it is very
Eloise from United States
This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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