On my Facebook page, I asked friends to post excerpts by which they would remember Adrienne Rich. Here they are:
- From Martha Barnette, of A Way With Words, from an essay called “Invisibility in Academe”:
"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.