Section 16 from 'Draft 85: Hard Copy'

By Rachel Blau DuPlessis b. 1941
I won’t quote a word,
but that notable double-crossing chess game
reveals trouble in the desert,
trouble in the lineage, trouble in the choices,
trouble in the allegory.
 
What more to say about the Father of everything
from the inevitable, suspicious, atheist
daughter
watching the claim made around the one—
the beautiful, longed-for, pensive son.
 
They are all male singletons:
one A, one I and one One
(undercounting various brothers
who do not matter in the tally;
 
 
nor enumerating most sisters,
though they certainly existed).
 
Single, except for the One who sent an
androgyne messenger
who rammed the ram into the thicket,
who filled the curly ewe,
who took her mewling newborn sheep.
 
Thereupon the regime of human sacrifice
was declared theologically finished.
But not politically and ideologically finished.
 
Clear enough?

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, "Section 16 from 'Draft 85: Hard Copy'" from Pitch, Drafts 77-95. Copyright © 2010 by Rachel Blau DuPlessis.  Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.

Source: Pitch, Drafts 77-95 (Salt Publishing, 2010)

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Poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis b. 1941

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Relationships, Men & Women, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality, History & Politics, Judaism

Biography

Poet, editor, and scholar Rachel Blau DuPlessis earned a BA from Barnard College and a PhD from Columbia University. Her special interests are in modern and contemporary poetry, especially issues of gender, the long poem, and cultural poetics. She is one of the foremost critics of her generation, and her works of scholarship include Writing Beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers (1985), H.D.: . . .

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Poems by Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality, History & Politics, Judaism

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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