From the Archives: ‘Exodus,’ a Poem by Adrienne Rich
In her last poem for The Atlantic, Rich contemplated leaving for an unknown place.
Adrienne Rich began and concluded her relationship with Atlantic readers by writing about endings. She was just 23 years old when the magazine first published one of her poems: “Annotation for an Epitaph,” an elegy for a lost sinner. Seven more pieces of her work were printed in The Atlantic over the next seven years as she began her life as a wife and mother.
In the following decades, both the style and the subject matter of her writing changed considerably, reflecting her dedication to anti-war, civil-rights, and feminist activism. But all of that was still ahead when she made her last contribution to the magazine in 1959, contemplating leaving for an unknown place in “Exodus.” — Annika Neklason