Adrienne Rich’s “In Those Years” is a challenge to engage and connect. “In those years, people will say, we lost track of the meaning of we, of you/we found ourselves reduced to I.” As I make sense of the world around me, Rich’s words resonate deeply. The notion that as a society we’ve become entirely self-focused is sharply disappointing and disturbing. And yet, Rich speaks to us in this poem from some unknown time in our future when we have overcome.
“The great dark birds of history screamed and plunged into our personal weather,” she writes. What will it take to undo the barriers of difference we’ve built around us? How can we re-learn the meaning of we and you? What do the dark birds of history call to you, and how can you reply?
Brianna Curran, Washington, DC