A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Adrienne Rich

"From Morning-Glory to Petersburg"

(The World Book, 1928)

"Organized knowledge in story and picture"
confronts through dusty glass
an eye grown dubious
I can recall when knowledge was pure
not contradictory, pleasurable
as cutting out a paper doll
You opened up a book and there it was:
everything just as promised, from
Kurdistan to Mormons, Gum
Arabic to Kumquat, neither more nor less.
Facts could be kept separate
by a convention; that was what
made childhood possible. Now knowledge finds me out;
in all its risible untidiness
it traces me to each address
dragging in things I never thought about
I don't invite what facts can be
held at arm's length; a family
of jeering irresponsibles always
comes along gypsy-style
and there you have them all
forever on your hands. It never pays
If I could still extrapolate
the morning-glory on the gate
from Petersburg in history--but it's too late

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

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