I Dream I'm the Death of Orpheus

I Dream I'm the Death of Orpheus

I am walking rapidly through striations of light and dark thrown under an arcade.

I am a woman in the prime of life, with certain powers
and those powers severely limited
by authorities whose faces I rarely see.
I am a woman in the prime of life
driving her dead poet in a black Rolls-Royce
through a landscape of twilight and thorns.
A woman with a certain mission
which if obeyed to the letter will leave her intact.
A woman with the nerves of a panther
a woman with contacts among Hell's Angels
a woman feeling the fullness of her powers
at the precise moment when she must not use them
a woman sworn to lucidity
who sees through the mayhem, the smoky fires
of these underground streets
her dead poet learning to walk backward against the wind
on the wrong side of the mirror

1968


from The Will to Change (W. W. Norton & Company, 1971), copyright © Adrienne Rich 1971, used by permission of the author

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Recordings

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1Antinous: The Diaries

2The Roofwalker

3Night-Pieces: For A Child

4"I Am in Danger - Sir - "

5Spring Thunder

6Face to Face

7Orion

8In the Evening

9For a Russian Poet

10Abnegation

11On Edges

12I Dream I'm The Death of Orpheus

13Letters: March 1969

14Diving into the Wreck

15Power

16Blue Rock

17Delta

18Dreamwood

19Final Notations

20What Kind Of Times Are These

21In Those Years

22To The Days

23Miracle Ice Cream

24Rachel

25The Art of Translation

26Char

27Letters to a Young Poet

28For This

29Fox

30Terza Rima