Adrienne Rich Quotes

... 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.
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Can you remember? when we thought the poets taught how to live?
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet and essayist. "Poetry: I," lines 15-16 (1985).
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They can rule the world while they can persuade us our pain belongs in some order. Is death by famine worse than death by suicide, than a life of famine and suicide ... ?
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. "Power. Hunger." pt. 1, The Dream of a Common Language (1978).
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The word "revolution" itself has become not only a dead relic of Leftism, but a key to the deadendedness of male politics: the "revolution" of a wheel which returns in the end to the same place; the "revolving door" of a politics which has "liberated" women only to use them, and only within the limits of male tolerance.
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. repr. In On Lies, Secrets, and Silence (1980). "Power and Danger: Works of a Common Woman," introduction, The Work of a Common Woman: The Collected Poetry of Judy Grahn, 1964-1977 (1977).
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We might hypothetically possess ourselves of every technological resource on the North American continent, but as long as our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless, our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles, our process may be "revolutionary" but not transformative.
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. repr. In On Lies, Secrets, and Silence (1980). "Power and Danger: Works of a Common Woman," introduction, The Work of a Common Woman: The Collected Poetry of Judy Grahn, 1964-1977 (1977).
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Either you will go through this door or you will not go through. ... The door itself makes no promises. It is only a door.
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet, essayist, and lesbian feminist. "Prospective Immigrants Please Note," lines 1-3, 19-21 (1962).
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How we dwelt in two worlds the daughters and the mothers in the kingdom of the sons.
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. "Sibling Mysteries," The Dream of a Common Language (1978).
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The argument ad feminam, all the old knives that have rusted in my back, I drive in yours, ma semblable, ma soeur!
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (l. 37-39). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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Your mind now, moldering like wedding-cake, heavy with useless experience, rich with suspicion, rumor, fantasy, crumbling to pieces under the knife-edge of mere fact. In the prime of your life.
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (l. 7-11). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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This luxury of the precocious child, Time's precious chronic invalid,— would we, darlings, resign it if we could? Our blight has been our sinecure: mere talent was enough for us— glitter in fragments and rough drafts.
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet. Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (l. 88-93). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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