Diving into the Wreck (Adrienne Rich)

Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich is a poem about identity, about finding oneself.

To read the poem (and comments) see  On “Diving into the Wreck” and How to Read a Poem from poets.org

What do you notice first? What about the title? What wreck? Think about it, but it may not  be necessary to determine exactly what the wreck might be.
Why does the narrator bring  the book, the camera, and the knife for the dive? What do these details say to you?

By the end of the poem, the identity of the narrator moves between one and many, between male and female. Why ? The poem doesn’t have a definite “answer,” but there are many points to discuss. What do you read from it?


Also listen to Adrienne Rich on what makes poetry possible

To talk about poetry it is good to know some words such as ‘stanza’. “The word stanza means ‘room’ in Italian…and each stanza is like a room in a house, a lyric dwelling place,” (Edward Hirsch, A Poet’s Glossary). Definitions of stanza and more poetry vocabulary can be found at poetryarchive.org/glossary.

This post is a collection of digital material which can be used for learning and teaching.


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