Adrienne Rich Walks Through Life’s Door

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Adrienne Rich died yesterday at the age of 82. The pioneering feminist and poet has surfaced in many of our radio conversations over the years. Elizabeth Alexander cited Rich’s poem telling us that a poet needs to follow her intuition fully by "diving into the wreck."

But, it is this simple, poignant poem in which she reflects upon the Exodus story that has always stuck with me. Somehow, with the upcoming Passover season and her passing through life’s door, I find it most appropriate on this solemn occasion to share with you here and remember one of our greatest:

Prospective Immigrants Please Note

Either you will 
go through this door 
or you will not go through. 

If you go through 
there is always the risk 
of remembering your name. 

Things look at you doubly 
and you must look back 
and let them happen. 

If you do not go through 
it is possible 
to live worthily 

to maintain your attitudes 
to hold your position 
to die bravely 

but much will blind you, 
much will evade you, 
at what cost who knows? 

The door itself makes no promises. 
It is only a door.

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  7. denisehess reblogged this from parabola-magazine and added:
    Beautiful poem
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  11. parabola-magazine reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    Adrienne Rich Walks Through Life’s Door by Trent Gilliss, senior editor Adrienne Rich died yesterday at the age of 82....
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  16. freytags reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    beatiful thought provoking words, thank you! “The door itself makes no promises. It is only a door.”
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