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it will not be simple

Either on the first or last day of our freshman year directing class, our teacher, the inimitable Jim Peck, gave us all a copy of this poem by Adrienne Rich. I think that was the first time I read her words -- the beginning of a deep literary love.

In the years since, this poem has lain gently over several not simple, not long experiences, like a silk cloth over tables of lacquered wood, cold steel, fingerprinted glass.

In the ninth month of my first year of being a mother, I reach into a drawer and touch the rich words of this poem again. I close my eyes with gratitude for their familiar comfort.

These words apply to anything worth doing fully. Directing, writing, loving, mothering. All of it.

Final Notations

Adrienne Rich

it will not be simple, it will not be long
it will take little time, it will take all your thought
it will take all your heart, it will take all your breath
it will be short, it will not be simple

it will touch through your ribs, it will take all your heart
it will not be long, it will occupy your thought
as a city is occupied, as a bed is occupied
it will take all your flesh, it will not be simple

You are coming into us who cannot withstand you
you are coming into us who never wanted to withstand you
you are taking parts of us into places never planned
you are going far away with pieces of our lives

it will be short, it will take all your breath
it will not be simple, it will become your will´╗┐

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Reader Comments (1)

What a wonderful surprise to find this post today. It had been so long since I've found my own way back here that I had to retrieve my password.

Thank you for sharing this Rich poem. I think I'm most haunted by the repetition of "It will not be long" and "It will be short." Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. But she is surely right.

December 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterCristina Pippa

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