Adrienne Cecile Rich is an American poet, essayist and feminist. She has been called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century."
Life and Career
Adrienne Rich was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the older of two sisters. Her father, the renowned pathologist Arnold Rice Rich, was a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School, and her mother, Helen Jones Rich, was a concert pianist until she married. Her father was Jewish and her mother was a Southern Protestant; the girls were raised as Christians. Adrienne Rich's early poetic influence stemmed from her father who encouraged her to ... more »
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Adrienne Rich Poems
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers
Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen, Bright topaz denizens of a world of green. They do not fear the men beneath the tree; They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.
Diving Into the Wreck
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on
Burning Oneself Out
We can look into the stove tonight as into a mirror, yes, the serrated log, the yellow-blue gaseous core
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
My swirling wants. Your frozen lips. The grammar turned and attacked me. Themes, written under duress. Emptiness of the notations.
My Mouth Hovers Across Your Breasts
My mouth hovers across your breasts in the short grey winter afternoon in this bed we are delicate and touch so hot with joy we amaze ourselves
Living in Sin
She had thought the studio would keep itself; no dust upon the furniture of love. Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal, the panes relieved of grime. A plate of pears,
For the Dead
I dreamed I called you on the telephone to say: Be kinder to yourself but you were sick and would not answer
From an Atlas of the Difficult World
I know you are reading this poem late, before leaving your office of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
Living in the earth-deposits of our history Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
Cartographies of Silence
1. A conversation begins with a lie. and each
From a Survivor
The pact that we made was the ordinary pact of men & women in those days I don’t know who we thought we were
In Those Years
In those years, people will say, we lost track of the meaning of we, of you we found ourselves reduced to I
In a Classroom
Talking of poetry, hauling the books arm-full to the table where the heads bend or gaze upward, listening, reading aloud, talking of consonants, elision,
The world's not wanton only wild and wavering
Quotationsmore quotations »
The mother's battle for her childwith sickness, with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation and callousness that cheapen human lifeneeds to become a common human battle, wa...Adrienne Rich (20th century), U.S. author. Of Women Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (1976).
''... I am an instrument in the shape/of a woman trying to translate pulsations/into images for the relief of the body/and the reconstruction of the mind.''Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet and feminist. "Planetarium," lines 42-45 (1968). Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750-1848), an astronomer.
''A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.''Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (l. 26). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, ...
''The glass has been falling all the afternoon''Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. Storm Warnings (l. 1). . . Norton Introduction to Poetry, The. J. Paul Hunter, ed. (3d ed., 1986) W. W. Norton...
''The will to change begins in the body not in the mindAdrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet and feminist. "Tear Gas," lines 38-39 (1969).
My politics is in my body, accruing and expanding with every act of resistance and each of my failures.''
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers
Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.
Aunt Jennifer's finger fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.
When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.