How Do You Remember Adrienne Rich?

On my Facebook page, I asked friends to post excerpts by which they would remember Adrienne Rich. Here they are:

‎"When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see you or hear you, whether you are dark-skinned, old, disabled, female, or speak with a different accent or dialect than theirs, when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.”


  • From Jennifer Einhorn, a poem called “Delta”:

If you have taken this rubble for my past

raking through it for fragments you could sell

know that I long ago moved on

deeper into the heard of the matter


If you think you can grasp me, think again:

my story flows in more than one direction

a delta springing from the riverbed

with its five fingers spread


  • From Judith Mosley, formerly a source, now an FB friend, an excerpt from a poem called “Integrity”:

Anger and tenderness: my selves.

And now I can believe they breathe in me

as angels, not polarities.

Anger and tenderness: the spider's genius

to spin and weave in the same action

from her own body, anywhere --

even from a broken web.


  • From Louise Quayle, three beautiful lines from “Twenty-One Love Poems,” in The Dream of a Common Language:

What kind of beast would turn its life into words?

What atonement is this all about?

--and yet, writing words like these, I’m also living.

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