By Adrienne Rich
“We are within the presence right here of an incredible American poet whose voice at mid-century in her personal existence is more and more marked through ethical passion.”—New York instances publication Review
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Extra info for A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978-1981
Though I have heard it said this hill was no work of nature but a gigantic tomb, a place that those who lived in Wiltshire before us, before the Normans, before the Saxons, before even the Romans came, laid out their dead, the common people of the village called it the Fairy Mound and steered clear of it at nights for they believed it was, if not a place accursed, then certainly one in which we human beings might suffer curious fates and transformations. " 'But my madcap mother, egged on by the squire's son, who was a rogue, and bet her a silver sixpence she would not dare, once spent the whole of one midsummer's night inside this earthen castle.
Fevvers yawned with prodigious energy, opening up a crimson maw the size of that of a basking shark, taking in enough air to lift a Montgolfier, and then she stretched herself suddenly and hugely, extending every muscle as a cat does, until it seemed she intended to fill up all the mirror, all the room with her bulk. As she raised her arms, Walser, confronted by stubbled, thickly powdered armpits, felt faint; God! she could easily crush him to death in her huge arms, although he was a big man with the strength of Californian sunshine distilled in his limbs.
And they'd say, 'yes', or, 'no', depending on whether they'd been before, for if they'd been before, they'd got their fancies picked out. And if it was, 'yes', she'd pull back the curtain while Toussaint wheezed out a shocking discord on the old harmonium. "And there she'd be. "It cost another hundred guineas to have the Wiltshire Wonder suck you off and a cool two fifty to take Albert/Albertina upstairs because s/he was one of each and then as much again, while the tariff soared by leaps and bounds if you wanted anything out of the ordinary.
A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978-1981 by Adrienne Rich