In line 39 of "Diving into the Wreck," the poet says "the sea is another story." Why is the sea another story?

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bree1228 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the poem "Diving into the Wreck," by Adrienne Rich, the speaker states in line 39 that "the sea is another story..."  This reference comes directly after the speaker struggles with descending into the sea, and the struggle to breathe.  Her mask offers some degree of control against the fear of being unable to breathe.  The sea presents a different challenge for the speaker. 

Although the speaker is now in control of her breathing, the sea is an entity so large and mysterious that the speaker admits that she has no control over the sea.  The speaker is alone in her quest for survival in the vast sea.  It can be symbolic of the poet's feminist view of how a woman must navigate the world without the help of any survival gear.  The female figure is solitary in her quest to discover the "wreckage."  The sea, a symbol for the world at large, represents the unknown power that the speaker cannot control.  As a feminist poet, Rich may be likening the sea to a man's world, where the speaker is left on her own to figure out its mysteries, and her specific place within that world. 

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Diving into the Wreck

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