A revolutionary poem will not tell you who or when to kill, what and when to burn, or even how to theorize. It reminds you... where and when and how you are living and might live, it is a wick of desire.

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

Profession: Poet
Nationality: American

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But it is the subjects, the conversations, the facts we shy away from, which claim us in the form of writer's block, as mere rhetoric, as hysteria, insomnia, and constriction of the throat.

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.

Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.

To do something very common, in my own way.

I ache, brilliantly.

You grieve in loneliness, and if I understand you fuck in loneliness.

The serious revolutionary, like the serious artist, can't afford to lead a sentimental or self-deceiving life.

Vous travaillez pour l'armee, madame?' (You are working for the army?), a Frenchwoman said to me early in the Vietnam war, on hearing I had three sons.

The moment the feeling enters the body is political.

The dead we say as if speaking.

Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.

Poetry, in its own way, is a carrier of the sparks, because it too comes out of silence, seeking connection with unseen others.

Probably there is nothing in human nature more resonant with charges than the flow of energy between two biologically alike bodies, one of which has lain in amniotic bliss inside the other, one of which has labored to give birth to the other. The materials are here for the deepest mutuality and the most painful estrangement.

Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.