by Adrienne Rich
Living in the earth-deposits of our history
Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate
Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying
her wounds came from the same source as her power
* Things that annoy me about blogger: why wont it preserve the spacing in the lines above? This is a poem that uses both blank space at the ends and within the lines. Why won't it show it to you that way? To see what I mean, go look at the poem here.
[EDIT: thanks to reader JB I have fixed this problem.}
* When I was in fifth grade I read a biography of Marie Curie. She kept radium in a drawer. It exposed film. That's how she found out about radiation.
* Here in central texas, the temperature has dropped 40 degrees in a 1/4 as many hours. Dramatic sweep and change.
* In the 90's we went to hear Adrienne Rich read; was it in a church? I can't remember. It was sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC. The have a bible that belonged to Queen Elizabeth, a copy of Chaucer that belonged to Ben Johnson, and a First Folio that belonged to a monk who not only inked out the lines in the plays that he deemed inappropiate, but excised the entirety of Measure for Measure. They also had a song/ hymn book that opened to reveal the songs' scores printed in four directions -- two pages opened as if they were many -- like a flower. This is so that one book could be shared by a circle of singers.