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review 2015-04-18 16:12
The Fact of a Doorframe, by Adrienne Rich
The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New, 1950-1984 - Adrienne Rich

Just in time for Poetry Month, I finished my leisurely reading (pace-wise, not in terms of attention) of Adrienne Rich's career-spanning Selected Poems. I have my favorites (particularly around the middle years), but there's nothing to dislike or be less impressed by. I admire writers whose style transforms over time; the voice remains the same--it's brave, fierce, sensual, and socially questing and challenging--while the poems grow longer, multi-sectioned, expansive. Nearly every poem contains at least one line or image that I wanted to underline twice. Already I've been inspired to write after particular poems.


Adrienne Rich is essential reading for women, lgbtq folks, feminists, poets, those interested in poetry, and those deeply concerned with social consciousness. If you're already familiar with her from Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law and/or Diving Into the Wreck, there's more to explore.

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text 2015-02-12 16:03
Reading progress update: I've read 53 out of 358 pages.
The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New, 1950-1984 - Adrienne Rich

So good. At least one astonishing line per poem. Happy to finally be reading this poet's work from across her career.

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quote 2014-06-21 19:59
A conversation begins
with a lie. and each

speaker of the so-called common language feels
the ice-floe split, the drift apart

as if powerless, as if up against
a force of nature.
The Dream of a Common Language - Adrienne Rich

“Cartographies of Silence” by Adrienne Rich

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quote 2014-03-24 16:56
Lesbians have historically been deprived of a political existence through "inclusion" as female versions of male homosexuality. To equate lesbian existence with male homosexuality because each is stigmatized is to erase female reality once again. Part of the history of lesbian existence is, obviously, to be found where lesbians, lacking a coherent female community, have shared a kind of social life and common cause with homosexual men. But there are differences: women's lack of economic and cultural privilege relative to men; qualitative differences in female and male relationships--for example, the patterns of anonymous sex among male homosexuals, and the pronounced ageism while suckling her own child, perhaps recalling her mother's milk smell in her own, to two women, like Virginia Woolf's Chloe and Olivia, who share a laboratory, the the woman dying at ninety, touched and handled by women--exist on a lesbian continuum, we can see ourselves as moving in and out of this continuum, whether we identify ourselves as lesbian or not. ... As the term lesbian has been held to limiting, clinical associations in its patriarchal definition, female friendship and comradeship have been set apart from the erotic, thus limiting the erotic itself.

Adrienne Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"

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quote 2013-11-11 18:10
It's only a branch like any other
green with the flare of life in it
and if I hold this end, you the other
that means it's broken

broken between us, broken despite us
broken and therefore dying
broken by force, broken by lying
green, with the flare of life in it

"The Art of Translation, 2" - Adrienne Rich

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