Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose

"Song of Solemnity"

Adrienne Rich’s “Song” plays out an uncomfortably intimate melody concerning a woman’s feelings of inescapable loneliness. Adrienne asserts the tortured song of this woman’s soul so beautifully, teasing the reader early on with passivity, and then cunningly slips into prose so lovely that the reader cannot help but be intoxicated, drawn in like a lover. But like a midnight seductress, Rich sweetly seduces only to leave her lover mystified and spellbound, yet shattered by the silence that comes at the song’s end. Through “Song” Rich lets the reader try her on, lets the reader think we have gotten under her skin, only to leave us as isolated as we seemed to think she was. The sweet sad melody of “Song” quite simply put is that as much as people may think we can penetrate each other, we are always left alone to our own devices and often times we cannot even find it to trust the song of ourselves to be enough.

Rich begins the poem with “You’re wondering if I’m lonely” already creating a disparity between “you,” the reader, and “I,” the poet. These two characters are separate, alone; different from each other, the line in the sand is drawn. The distance between “you” and “I” is even greater emphasized with simple capitalization,...

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