Frederick Douglass

James DiCianni
Mary Griffis
Poem explication
May 5, 2013
“Diving into the Wreck”

“Diving into the Wreck” is a poem written by Adrienne Rich about a woman that is going scuba diving to look at a ship wreck in the ocean. Reading this poem the first time through, I looked at the poem as if she was actually going to a deep sea diving trip but upon re-reading it, I found a lot of deeper meaning in her words. The hardest thing to infer is what the major event in her life she is comparing scuba diving with. She talks a lot about how much protection she will need to help her with whatever she is about to discover. She described her scuba suit as a “body armor of black rubber.” Another description that leads the reader to believe that she is going into some serious danger is the fact that she has a knife with her on her journey. Rich uses a ton of symbolism in this text to display a deeper meaning within her poem.
One of the most descriptive parts of the poem is when she describes her trip down the ladder into the ocean. She says how easy it is for many people to climb down the ladder if they have done it before, but for her it isn’t so easy because it is uncharted territory. The ladder is a symbol for all of the hardships that she will encounter on her journey to the main wreckage. At first, I wondered why she would go through with it if she knew how difficult the journey was going to be how much of a wreck the outcome that she was moving towards would be. The ladder also symbolizes a time for her that she has no choice but to go through with it and jump in the water. Obviously whatever she is moving towards in life in scaring her just like the water may scare some scuba divers.
Some of the other symbols in this poem come from the objects that are hindering her from going on her journey. She says that her flippers are crippling her and affecting her ability to climb down the ladder and make it to her destination. Another thing that is ruining her ability to...