The author of many collections of poetry, Jean Valentine has received such honors as the National Book Award, being selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets and the Wallace Stevens Award... More >
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You came in a dream, yesterday
—The first day we met
you showed me your dark workroom
off the kitchen, your books, your notebooks.
Reading our last, knowing-last letters
—the years of our friendship
reading our poems to each other,
I would start breathing again.
Yesterday, in the afternoon,
more than a year since you died,
some words came into the air.
I looked away a second,
and they were gone,
six lines, just passing through.
for Adrienne Rich
About this poem:
"This is a poem that I wrote last May, more than a year after Adrienne Rich's death, and have only just finished (if it is finished). Adrienne was my first woman poet friend; we met because when my first book was published, in 1965, she read it & wrote me a letter. That was an act of generosity that was characteristic of her forever."