Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

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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."
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Diving Into the Wreck

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First having read the book of myths,and loaded the camera,and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put onthe body-armor of black rubberthe absurd flippersthe grave and awkward mask
I am having to do thisnot like Cousteau with hisassidu...
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Twenty-One Love Poems V

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This apartment full of books could crack opento the thick jaws, the bulging eyesof monsters, easily:
Once open the books, you have to facethe underside of everything you’ve loved—the rack and pincers held in readiness, the gageven the best vo...
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Aunt Jennifers Tigers

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Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty
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Stepping Backward

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Good-by to you whom I shall see tomorrow,
Next year and when I'm fifty; still good-by
This is the leave we never really take
If you were dead or gone to live in
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Rural Reflections

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This is the grass your feet are planted on
You paint it orange or you sing it green,
But you have never foundA way to make the grass mean what you mean
A cloud can be whatever you intend:
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Twenty-One Love Poems XVI

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Across a city from you,
I’m with you,just as an August nightmoony, inlet-warm, seabathed,
I watched you sleep,the scrubbed, sheenless wood of the dressing-tablecluttered with our brushes, books, vials in the moonlight—or a salt-mist orch...
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Miracle Ice Cream

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Miracle's truck comes down the little avenue,
Scott Joplin ragtime strewn behind it like pearls,and, yes, you can feel happywith one piece of your heart
Take what's still given: in a room's rich shadowa woman's breasts swinging lightly a...
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Twenty-One Love Poems XIX

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Can it be growing colder when I beginto touch myself again, adhesions pull away
When slowly the naked face turns from staring backwardand looks into the present,the eye of winter, city, anger, poverty, and deathand the lips part and say:
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Twenty-One Love Poems XI

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Every peak is a crater
This is the law of volcanoes,making them eternally and visibly female
No height without depth, without a burning core,though our straw soles shred on the hardened lava
I want to travel with you to every sacred...
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Twenty-One Love Poems XIV

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It was your vision of the pilotconfirmed my vision of you, you said
He keeps on steering headlong into the waves, on purpose while we crouched in the open hatchwayvomiting into plastic bags
For three hours between St
Pierre and Miqu...
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Twenty-One Love Poems II

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II wake up in your bed
I know I have been dreaming
Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other,you’ve been at your desk for hours
I know what I dreamed:our friend the poet comes into my roomwhere I’ve been writing for days,draf...
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Living in Sin

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She had thought the studio would keep itself;no dust upon the furniture of love
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,the panes relieved of grime
A plate of pears,a piano with a Persian shawl, a catstalking the picturesque amusing mou...
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Twenty-One Love Poems The Floating Poem Unnumbered

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(The Floating Poem,
Unnumbered)Whatever happens with us, your bodywill haunt mine—tender, delicateyour lovemaking, like the half-curled frondof the fiddlehead fern in forestsjust washed by sun
Your traveled, generous thighsbetween which ...
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Twenty-One Love Poems XXI

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The dark lintels, the blue and foreign stonesof the great round rippled by stone implementsthe midsummer night light rising form beneaththe horizon—when I said “a cleft of light”I meant this
And this is not Stonehengesimply nor any place but ...
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Twenty-One Love Poems IX

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Your silence today is a pond where drowned things liveI want to see raised dripping and brought into the sun
It’s not my own face I see there, but other faces,even your face at another age
Whatever’s lost there is needed by both of us—a ...
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Twenty-One Love Poems XV

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If I lay on that beach with youwhite, empty, pure green water warmed by the Gulf Streamand lying on that beach we could not staybecause the wind drove fine sand against usas if it were against usif we tried to withstand it and we failed—if we drov...
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