In Those Years

In Those Years Summary

In the fourteen-line poem "In Those Years," the speaker reflects on the present-day struggle against political powers and conservative social structures. In the first stanza, she reflects that recently, she and others have been "reduced to I": they have been focused on their individual lives instead of thinking about the larger community. In this era of isolation, the whole world has become both "silly" and "terrible." Where the first stanza of the poem laments this turn of events, the second motivates people to stand again and fight, suggesting that standing alone leaves one vulnerable to the "dark birds of history," whether or not one believes they are coming.