Adrienne Rich

Showing 29 posts tagged Adrienne Rich

There is no simple formula for the relationship of art to justice. But I do know that art—in my own case the art of poetry—means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage. The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate. A President cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.

Happy birthday, Adrienne RichThe 1997 letter with which the beloved poet became the only person to turn down the prestigious National Medal of Arts.

(via explore-blog)

No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone.
The accidents happen, we’re not heroines,
they happen in our lives like car crashes,
books that change us, neighborhoods
we move into and come to love.
Tristan und Isolde is scarcely the story,
women at least should know the difference
between love and death. No poison cup,
no penance.

Adrienne Rich (via rachelfershleiser)

This is a portion of the seventeenth of the Twenty-One Love Poems found in the middle section of Rich’s The Dream of  Common Language: Poems 1974-1977. Look for a new edition in bookstores this April.

(via rachelfershleiser)

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
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains’ enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
hand
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

—Adrienne Rich, from An Atlas of the Difficult World

Open the book of tales you knew by heart,
begin driving the old roads again,
repeating the old sentences, which have changed
minutely from the wordings you remembered.

Adrienne Rich, the opening of “Living Memory”
In Memoriam: Adrienne RichTribute, Reading, Celebration
Monday, April 16, 2012 : 7:00 – 9:00pmDeutsches Haus, Columbia University
Adrienne Rich: poet, essayist, feminist, champion of social justice, teacher, friend.The Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University invites you to join in celebrating Adrienne Rich’s life, to mourn her passing, and to read her work, again.
Hosted by Rosalind Morris, Yvette Christiansë and Julie Crawford. High-res

In Memoriam: Adrienne Rich
Tribute, Reading, Celebration

Monday, April 16, 2012 : 7:00 – 9:00pm
Deutsches Haus, Columbia University

Adrienne Rich: poet, essayist, feminist, champion of social justice, teacher, friend.
The Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University invites you to join in celebrating Adrienne Rich’s life, to mourn her passing, and to read her work, again.

Hosted by Rosalind Morris, Yvette Christiansë and Julie Crawford.