Adrienne Rich Quotes

Adrienne Cecile Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) was an American poet, essayist and feminist. She was called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century", and was credited with bringing "the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse." Wikipedia

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Adrienne Rich


The mother's battle for her child with sickness, with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation and callousness that cheapen human life needs to become a common human battle, waged in love and in the passion for survival.

Adrienne Rich


I keep coming back to you in my head, but you couldn't know that, and I have no carbons.

Adrienne Rich


Lesbian existence comprises both the breaking of a taboo and the rejection of a compulsory way of life. It is also a direct or indirect attack on the male right of access to women.

Adrienne Rich


Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.

Adrienne Rich


We might possess every technological resource... but if 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


Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.

Adrienne Rich


If you think you can grasp me, think again: my story flows in more than one direction, a delta springing from the river bed with its five fingers spread.

Adrienne Rich


An honorable human relationship ... is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

Adrienne Rich


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


The repossession by women of our bodies will bring far more essential change to human society than the seizing of the means of production by workers.

Adrienne Rich


To write as if your life depended on it; to write across the chalkboard, putting up there in public the words you have dredged; sieved up in dreams, from behind screen memories, out of silence-- words you have dreaded and needed in order to know you exist.

Adrienne Rich


TV has created a kind of false collectivity.

Adrienne Rich


A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.

Adrienne Rich


The liar often suffers from amnesia. Amnesia is the silence of the unconscious.

Adrienne Rich


... in a history of spiritual rupture, a social compact built on fantasy and collective secrets, poetry becomes more necessary than ever: it keeps the underground aquifers flowing; it is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.

Adrienne Rich