There is always an unspeakable where, perhaps, the nucleus of the living relation between the poem and the world resides.

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

Profession: Poet
Nationality: American

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The mind's passion is all for singling out. Obscurity has another tale to tell.

Because life is short and you too are thirsty.

Sexist grammar burns into the brains of little girls and young women a message that the male is the norm, the standard, the central figure beside which we are all deviants, the marginal, the dependent variables. It lays the foundation for androcentric thinking, and leaves men safe in their solipsistic tunnel-vision.

But nothing less than the most radical imagination will carry us beyond this place, beyond the mere struggle for survival, to that lucid recognition of our possibilities which will keep us impatient, and unresigned to mere survival.

The moment of change is the only poem.

The moment when a feeling enters the body is political.

The avoidance of pain - physical or psychic - is a dangerous mechanism, which can cause us to lose touch not just with our painful sensations but with ourselves.

For now, poetry has the capacity - in its own ways and by its own means - to remind us of something we are forbidden to see.

The moment the feeling enters the body is political.

What kind of beast would turn its life into words?

There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.

Yet we can't wait for the undamaged to make our connections for us; we can't wait to speak until we are wholly clear and righteous. There is no purity, and, in our lifetimes, no end to this process.

I cannot hide my anger to spare your guilt.

I don't think we can separate art from overall human dignity and hope.