An Expliciation of 'Prospective Immigrants Please Note.'

684 Words3 Pages
"Prospective Immigrants Please Note"

Adrienne Rich

Either you will

go through this door

or you will not go through.

If you go through

there is always the risk

of remembering your name.

Things look at you doubly

and you must look back

and let them happen.

If you do not go through

it is possible

to live worthily

to maintain your attitudes

to hold your position

to die bravely

but much will blind you,

much will evade you,

at what cost who knows?

The door itself

makes no promises.

It is only a door.

"Prospective Immigrants Please Note", a poem by Adrienne Rich, helps one to ponder on the dual perspective, with the mother culture and the American ideals. Rich 's essential goal is for one to remember their families and
…show more content…
Many, families stayed in Europe because of this, and often only part of the family would come over. This strikes me as another of her poems heavily influenced by the Holocaust - people stayed behind so they wouldn 't cease to exist as Jews, and were annihilated. "But much will blind you, much will evade you, at what cost who knows?"

The Metaphor of a door is intensely powerful; and the idea of doors I haven 't opened, brushed past on my way to somewhere else haunts me, always. I don 't know that what I say here is meaningful or insightful, or anything spectacular in any way, but I do know this poem has been one that so resonates with me that it seems a crime to not say something... and I don not want to brush past that door.

I have read this poem a number of times and I believe this poem is about immigrants and how they have a choice to leave their country or not. I believe "The door makes no promises" means nobody is going to promise you that you are going to have a wonderful, joyous life in the new country, and it is only a door, to go through or not to go through.

Re-examining the title, "Prospective Immigrants Please Note" it become clear that the poem addresses "immigrants" to wisely assess the decision of going into another country or staying where their at. The poet is talking to her Jewish community telling them if you leave your country,

    More about An Expliciation of 'Prospective Immigrants Please Note.'

      Get Access