Friday, May 28, 2010

Living In Sin - Adrienne Rich

Another by Adrienne Rich (bio info with earlier).  I love the line "By evening she was back in love again / though not so wholly...."  and how true it is that even the separation of just the working hours gives pause enough for reflecting - deluding? - ourselves that the bastard/bitch is a saint - though slightly soiled (and more so each day).  Or why retired couples sometimes find that, without that daily apartness, all the sins are magnified, sometimes beyond repair.  Yet, it does wear thin, especially if the man is as obtuse and self-involved as this one.  One pulls for the woman (girl? she seems young) to truly wake and leave, though we know she won't....
Living In Sin

She had thought the studio would keep itself –
No dust upon the furniture of love.
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,
The panes relieved of grime.  A plate of pears,
A piano with a Persian shawl, a cat
Stalking the picturesque, amusing mouse
Had been her vision when he pleaded “Come.”
Not that, at five, each separate stair would writhe
Under the milkman’s tramp; that morning light
So coldly would delineate the scraps
Of last night’s cheese and blank, sepulchral bottles;
That on the kitchen shelf among the saucers
A pair of beetle eyes would fix her own –
Envoy from some black village in the moldings….
Meanwhile her night’s companion, with a yawn,
Sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard,
Declared it out of tune, inspected, whistling,
A twelve hours’ beard, went out for cigarettes,
While she, contending with a woman’s demons,
Pulled back the sheets and made the bed and found
A fallen towel to dust the tabletop,
And wondered how it was a man could wake
From night to day and take the day for granted.
By evening she was back in love again,
Though not so wholly but throughout the night
She woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming
Lke a relentless milkman up the stairs.

                                                                               Adrienne Rich -  American

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering where you found this version of Adrienne Rich's Living in Sin? I can't find it in any of her collections of poetry.