Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich

Diving Into the Wreck

"I came to explore the wreck. / The words are purposes. / The words are maps. / I came to see the damage that was done / and the treasures that prevail." These provocative poems move with the power of Rich's distinctive voice.

Details Diving Into the Wreck

TitleDiving Into the Wreck
Release DateAug 17th, 1994
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenrePoetry, Feminism, Glbt, Queer, Womens, Lgbt, Literature, American

Reviews Diving Into the Wreck

  • Anthony Vacca
    With language as clinically apocalyptic and claustrophobically dystopic as anything to be found in the postmodern nightmares of Ballard and DeLillo, Diving Into the Wreck rages against the heteronormative status quo as Rich points her poetic finger at men and women, both of whom bear the burden of guilt. These poems range across shifting tropes such as ecological destruction, commodification, Vietnam, dreams and violence to showcase Rich's belief...
  • Stephen M
    Wow.That's all. WOW.I was thinking of writing some brilliant review to follow up the madness of inspiration banging around in my head after a day of reading. But, what can I say except that everyone should read this! I found the small amount of ratings of this book to be somewhat shocking considering how powerful it is. There were moments of tingly-goodness on almost every page. Only a few poems fell short for me, but that was only because of the...
  • mwpm
    When Diving Into the Wreck co-won the the 1974 National Books Award for Poetry (shared with Allen Ginsberg's The Fall of America ) Rich refused to accept the award alone, instead accepting the award accompanied by two other female nominees, Alice Walker (nominated for Revolutionary Petunias: And Other Poems ) and Audre Lorde (nominated for From a Land Where Other People Live ). In her acceptance speech, Rich stated that she was accepting the a...
  • Raul Bimenyimana
    these scars bear witnessbut whether to repairor to destructionI no longer knowI have a shameful confession to make. This was the first poetry book to have read to completion. I have read some poems, but this was the first time I managed to finish a collection. The reason being that I was afraid of poetry, afraid that I was not smart or capable enough to understand content and meaning. It always felt like there was a layer beneath what I had read ...
  • Nikki
    I've read some of Adrienne Rich's poetry before, but not all. I came across this by chance in the library today, and decided to bring it home -- I knew Diving into the Wreck itself, but not all of the other poems. They're powerful, painful, beautiful. There are only a couple that didn't really speak to me.
  • Christy
    This poet takes risks on every page as she examines the struggles of women as she felt them in the early 1970s. She does not hold back with her reflections, many of which I reread to comprehend all of the layers. I am so glad this book was recommended to me.
  • Adriana Scarpin
    RapeThere is a cop who is both prowler and father:he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,had certain ideals.You hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,on horseback, one hand touching his gun.You hardly know him but you have to get to know him:he has access to machinery that could kill you.He and his stallion clop like warlords among the trash,his ideals stand in the air, a frozen cloudfrom between his unsmiling lips.And so, w...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I'm so glad the National Book Foundation drew my attention to Adrienne Rich. I wasn't familiar with her work, but I loved this short book of political, emotional, intense poems. I said in an e-mail to a friend that I wanted to take them along with me on a solitary road trip, and I think that is because I think they go very deep and I want to read them again and reflect on them. I will be purchasing this set, well probably all of her work.Here is ...
  • Rebecca
    I don’t think I understood or appreciated this as much as I wanted to. I sensed a profundity under the surface that escaped my grasp. My favorite individual poem was the multi-part “Meditations for a Savage Child,” inspired by the Wild Boy of Aveyron. Though written 45 years ago, the poems of feminist outrage seem just as relevant today: “my visionary anger cleansing my sight / and the detailed perceptions of mercy / flowering from that a...
  • Luke
    What a punch to the gut. This is feminist poetry that is a must-read for members of both sexes. Some of the powerful imagery conveyed here by Rich is etched into my mind, not soon to be forgotten. I'm sorry it took me this long to get around to reading her, but better late than never.
  • Kathy
    When I was a young thing, I would save my pennies to buy everything Adrienne published. This is the pivotal book of poetry, the turning point from the earlier (and beautiful) formal poems into the rough territory of heart and world through which the later books move. Stellar.
  • Bert
    Gaargh wonderful. More powerful and relevant than ever right now.
  • Kirsty
    Diving Into the Wreck is a collection of Adrienne Rich's poems written between 1971 and 1972. The subject matter throughout is incredibly dark, in an 'all roads lead back to the Holocaust' manner - so much so that several of the poems gave me chills. Rich's prose is striking, and she presents such vivid imagery here, a lot of it markedly unpleasant, it must be said. I didn't love every poem, but I certainly admired them all. Diving Into the Wreck...
  • MJ Nicholls
    Exasperating and bleak poetry cycles about gender struggle and body politics. Not my usual parvenu, but I appreciated hearing this voice. On the bus.
  • Mino
    Does the primeval forest / weep / for its devourers / does nature mourn / our existence
  • anna (readingpeaches)
  • Brent Mckay
    Stunning, dark collection, full of images of water rushing, flames overwhelming, sexuality arriving and disappearing. Everything around her is either combustible or on the verge of death, wilting or igniting under the horror of it all. "...to feel the fiery future of every matchstick in the kitchen" or"while we sit up smoking and talking of how to live, he turns on the bed and murmurs"or"...the fire you want to go to bed from but cannot leave, bu...
  • William West
    While I do read modern poetry from time to time, I consider myself a more naive reader of verse than any other genre. I don't have the vocabulary to convey why I feel the way I do about poetry. So, in this case, I just have to say that I loved this book. In fact, I can't think of any work of modern poetry, including works by more iconic- and male- poets than Rich, that I found as rewarding. I had heard of Rich but never really thought of reading ...
  • Mike Lindgren
    Finally got the combination of time and nerve to take on this landmark of American poetry, and was rewarded with a glimpse into the infinite. This book is ferocious in the way that early P.J. Harvey is ferocious: both feminine and feminist, full of rage and mysticism and sadness, a fearless, avenging voice of the dispossessed, a wail of freedom and grief. What strikes me about the poetry here is that it manages to be polemical, in a way, while al...
  • Nicholas During
    I've recently made an effort to read more poetry, something that I haven't done since school really. So I'm far from being a poetry expert and judging what makes good poetry. But I did love this collection from Rich. Yes, it's very political, radically political. Yes it's very feminist, radically feminist perhaps. And yes it is very personal (I think). Do all these things make good poetry. Of course not. But presenting interesting and original id...
  • Rachel
    I love this book. I was going to quote from it, but there are too many perfectly stated moments. "wood / with a gift for burning." Clean and methodical, but so flipping passionate. I feel like I just cast the starring role in the movie that will be my comps essay.
  • Alix
    "Is there a law about this, a law of nature?You worship the bloodyou call it hysterical bleedingyou want to drink it like milkyou dip your finger into it and writeyou faint at the smell of ityou dream of dumping me into the sea."
  • Jade Kranz
    I feel a tremendous debt to Adrienne Rich. She was a smart woman with a strong voice at a time when such a thing was considered iconoclastic. This collection of poems cuts right to the core.
  • Ana
    A punch in the gut. Political, cynical, urgent.
  • Michael Shilling
    Her death sent me back to this book, which changed my life like twenty years ago. Reading the title track brought tears to my eyes. So much ferocity paired with so much empathy.
  • Allyson
    Slayed me.
  • melis
    3.5"—tell it over and over, the wordsget thick with unmeaning—yet never have we been closer to the truthof the lies we were living."
  • Phil Jensen
    I am the androgyneI am the living mind you fail to describein your dead languagethe lost noun, the verb survivingonly in the infinitivethe letters of my name are written under the lidsof the newborn childfrom "The Stranger"Moments of vibrant clarity like the above split about 50/50 with moments that are either less vibrant or less clear. Frequent themes include recognizing and surviving damage; understanding yourself rather than accepting the jud...
  • Jennn
    I'm so picky when it comes to poetry and it takes a lot to wow me. Right from the first page, this book starts out powerful and lasting with "Trying to Talk with a Man", Rich explaining in such vivid imagery "out here I feel more helpless/with you than without you". The next poem, "When We Dead Awaken", maintains the same electricity and sting as the last (e.g. "the trash/burning endlessly in the dump/to return to heaven like a stain" and "souven...
  • Jamie
    I'm perpetually torn with Rich. There's a studied, formal quality to even her mid-career, furious work - and I rarely enjoy tight-wound poetry, at least on a sort of affective level. My other frustration with Rich is that she can envision striking images, but so many of her poems seem to me to be endless series of absolutely disconnected images, and not in a surrealist, avant-garde way, either. Just disjointed attempts at stating the same idea ag...