Karl Shapiro Auto Wreck

.. Two interlocking themes run through Adrienne Rich’s poem, “Diving into the Wreck.” First, there is the theme of examining some great calamity or tragedy in life, no matter how scary it may be to do so or how uncertain the path may be that one has to follow in …

… she will challenge, but she also expects this exploration of old ideas, symbolized by the myths, and some troublesome event in her life, as the shipwreck, as possibly painful. She is a little afraid of what she will find:
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an …

… want to stay hidden:
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank (lines 67 – 68)

As she takes us down into the wreck with her, she doesn’t tell us exactly what she sees. It isn’t what she finds that is important but the fact that …

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