Posts Tagged ‘author’

In Memory of Adrienne Rich

29 Mar
“A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
The beak that grips her, she becomes.”
-Adrienne Rich, “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law”

There have been many bloggers discussing the life of Adrienne Rich this week; she passed away on Wednesday at the age of 82. And the Baltimore-born feminist certainly left a legacy in life and the written word, one worth visiting again and again.

There is a special sadness when one you have studied leaves the world; like losing a teacher you have never met. In trying to honor her, I began to do what one does to gain insight to a poet: I began reading, and sometimes re-reading, her poems. And in doing so, it seems only fitting that this blog became a poem itself, to one so fearless, and so beloved.

She Becomes

Like the luxury of copying famous quotations

Into a notebook,

On a bed in Tuscany.

That same author brought

Me to write of women monsters,

Springing forth from Adam. From Earth.


They didn’t call you a monster,

The chosen insult was: “political,”

What they really meant to say was, “liberal.”

They didn’t know—

Couldn’t know as a poet knows. Not provocative

In order to provoke;

But merely to respond to that

Which made you move.


I don’t believe

You would have wavered into that space … or carried

Old knives.

Had we met

I am sure we would have discussed the moon,

And light waves and men and their teacups,

And touched on the importance of

Style and form.

Yet your letters make me wonder,

If you will wander the halls still,

Who is your Rilke? Your students.

We will write our own requiems,

And then act upon them.