Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich's most recent book is The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004. A selection of her essays, Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations, appeared in 2003.

She edited Muriel Rukeyser's Selected Poems for the Library of America. She is a recipient of the National Book Foundation's 2006 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, among other awards.

Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth: Poems 2004-2006 will be published in October 2007.

Parting Parting

December 7, 1963 White morning flows into the mirror. Her eye, still old with sleep, meets itself like a sister. How they slept last night, the dream that caged them back to back, was nothing new. Last words, tears, most often come wrapped as the everyday familiar failure. Now, pulling the comb slowly through her loosened hair, she tries to find the parting; it must come out after all: hidden in all that tangle there is a way. This article is part of The Nation’s 150th Anniversary Special Issue. Download a free PDF of the issue, with articles by James Baldwin, Barbara Ehrenreich, Toni Morrison, Howard Zinn and many more, here. Over a half-century, Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) wrote twenty-two poems for The Nation and several reviews and essays, including a 2002 piece exploring the meaning of “antiwar.” 

Mar 23, 2015 / Books & the Arts / Adrienne Rich

Five Poems Five Poems

Adrienne Rich, 1929–2012

Apr 10, 2012 / Books & the Arts / Adrienne Rich

Quarto Quarto

1. Call me Sebastian, arrows sticking all over The map of my battlefields. Marathon. Wounded Knee. Vicksburg. Jericho. Battle of the Overpass. Victories turned inside out But no surrender Cemeteries of remorse The beaten champion sobbing Ghosts move in to shield his tears 2. No one writes lyric on a battlefield On a map stuck with arrows But I think I can do it if I just lurk In my tent pretending to Refeather my arrows I'll be right there! I yell When they come with their crossbows and white phosphorus To recruit me Crouching over my drafts lest they find me out and shoot me 3. Press your cheek against my medals, listen through them to my heart Doctor, can you see me if I'm naked? Spent longer in this place than in the war No one comes but rarely and I don't know what for Went to that desert as many did before Farewell and believing and hope not to die Hope not to die and what was the life Did we think was awaiting after Lay down your stethoscope back off on your skills Doctor can you see me when I'm naked? 4. I'll tell you about the mermaid Sheds swimmable tail Gets legs for dancing Sings like the sea with a choked throat Knives straight up her spine Lancing every step There is a price There is a price For every gift And all advice

May 20, 2009 / Books & the Arts / Adrienne Rich

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Saw you walking barefoot taking a long look at the new moon's eyelid

May 7, 2008 / Books & the Arts / Adrienne Rich

Even Then Maybe Even Then Maybe

Not spent   those bloodshot friendships   those soul-marriages sealed and torn those smiles of pain I told her a mouthful

May 17, 2007 / Books & the Arts / Adrienne Rich

Making the Connections Making the Connections

A sense of the larger picture is growing among US citizens, notably, though not only, among a young generation, along with a revulsion against official and corporate contempt f...

Dec 12, 2002 / Editorial / Adrienne Rich