This, from Adrienne Rich, is how I began the day. I tried to modify “day” with “teaching,” which became “learning,” which then walked back home to “day”:
Apartheid of the imagination becomes a blockage in the throat of poetry. It is an artistic problem, a fault line in the tradition; it derives from a devastating social reality, and it cannot be addressed as an artistic problem only. We may feel bitterly how little our poems can do in the face of seemingly out-of-control technological power and seemingly limitless corporate greed, yet it has always been true that poetry can break isolation, show us to ourselves when we are outlawed or made invisible, remind us of beauty where no beauty seems possible, remind us of kinship where all is represented as separation. Poetry, as Audre Lorde wrote long ago, is no luxury. But for our poetry — the poetries of all of us — to become equal to a time when so much has to be witnessed, recuperated, revalued, we as poets, we as readers, we as social beings, have large questions to ask ourselves and one another.
I read this quote in conjunction with reading, once again, the first two sections of Diving into the Wreck. Even if the first two sections stood alone as the whole, the book would be worthy of all the praise it has received. Her poetry is brave.