Section 29 from 'Draft 85: Hard Copy'

By Rachel Blau DuPlessis b. 1941
So she stole her father’s teraphim.
What, in the name of monotheism,
was that about?
Those rare black stones.
Sacred knick-knacks, idols,
symbolic lion grabbed at that got chipped,
cover them with the ass of female claim,
settle in for the duration, and refuse
(“being in the way of women”)
to rise.
Say you are neither disloyal nor pilferer.
And sit tight on the icons and rocks of meaning
gathered from the paternal household,
the talismanic counterfoils, even
the fewest and smallest
from the fierce storehouses of articulation
and defensiveness.
You will remake these goods in your own blood
“I didn’t take enough.”
“So go get more.”
Tokens from the broken labyrinth.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, "Section 29 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, Judaism, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

 Rachel Blau DuPlessis


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, Judaism, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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