Adrienne Rich

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.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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1 Response to Adrienne Rich

  1. Eric Wayne says:

    I think the era when we should read a poet for his or her politics, because we believe everyone must be enlightened by and adopt those politics, has peaked an is about to crash and burn. As a civilization, we grow bored with any paradigm, and want to move on.

    Recently, I entered a contest which would award blogs a stipend, etc… I didn’t think I had a chance because it was the Andy Warhol foundation, and if they did a search of my blog they’d quickly discover I have some choice words about his overrated legacy. But, I was surprised a little when I got an email notifying me of the winners and their projects. Everyone one of them was social justice! All art must be filtered through one perspective only — radical, social justice, identity politics. Gack!

    It’s gotten to the point where I get a whiff of social justice and I lose interest. It’s become a poison, specifically because in reality it is “applied social injustice”. So, while I actually like the poetry of Rich, which was assigned to me in a college poetry class, I don’t like here because she spouts the party line which I must believe or else.

    Liked by 1 person

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