Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971–1972

Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971–1972 is an anthology of poems written by Adrienne Rich. Published in 1973, it won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1974.


Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971–1972 is Rich's seventh book of poetry,[1] first published in 1973.[2][3] It is a collection of exploratory and often angry poems, split the 1974 National Book Award for Poetry with Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America.[4][5] Rich declined to accept the award individually and was joined by the two other feminist poets nominated—Alice Walker and Audre Lorde—to accept it on behalf of all women "whose voices have gone and still go unheard in a patriarchal world."[6][7]


"Diving into the Wreck"Edit

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

—From "Diving into the Wreck"
Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971–1972 (1973)[8]

The eponymous metaphorical poem describes a deep-sea diver before and during the exploration of a shipwreck.[9][10][11][12]


"Rape" is a poem that describes the plight of a woman who has been raped, forced to seek justice from a callous and patronizing male-dominated world. As in many of Rich's poems, "Rape" highlights the struggle of women against sexism and its sometimes cruel consequences, and can be seen as an effort to call women to action. "Rape" was published in 1973 in Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972.[13]


  1. ^ Margaret Atwood (1973-12-30). "Diving Into The Wreck - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  2. ^ "Adrienne Rich and the Women's Liberation Movement: A Politics of Reception". Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  3. ^ Jane Satterfield (2016-09-09). "Treasures Reclaimed: The Collected Poems of Adrienne Rich". Literary Matters. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  4. ^ National Book Awards – 1974, National Book Foundation, retrieved March 11, 2012
  5. ^ "Poets.org". Adrienne Rich. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  6. ^ Shuman (2002) p1276
  7. ^ "National Book Foundation". National Book Awards Acceptance Speeches. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Diving into the Wreck". The Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "LitCharts". LitCharts.
  10. ^ "Analysis of Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich". Poem Analysis. 2020-10-05. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  11. ^ "What an Adrienne Rich Poem Says About Writing, Creativity and Gender | by Tara Wanda Merrigan | Poetry & Politics". Medium. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  12. ^ "Diving into the Wreck | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com.
  13. ^ Vrudny, Kimberly (2012). "AIDS, Accountability, and Activism: The Beauty of Sue Williamson's Resistance Art". She Who Imagines: Feminist Theological Aesthetics. Liturgical Pr. pp. 125–126. ISBN 978-0-8146-8027-8.

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