I don’t mean to claim some instant, magic woke-ness upon reading these books. But Rich offers me a powerful and necessary reminder of the continuous self-reflection required to fight ignorance — one’s own and others’. We need to reread these books, especially now.
Rich never really suffered the indignity common to poets with long careers: merely self-imitative late poems that strain for effects the poet discovered decades ago. But many of Rich’s late poems seem to want to state their politics without grounding them in the life of the body, from which language learns its metaphors. This is a voice edging toward rhetoric, away from poetry, and away from us.
(Craig Morgan Teicher, “Two New Volumes by Adrienne Rich, Game-Changing Feminist, Poet and Essayist,” NYTimes, 12-12-18)
(c) 2018 JMN.