Adrienne Rich Quotes

On this page you can find the TOP of Adrienne Rich's best quotes! We hope you will find some sayings from Poet Adrienne Rich's in our collection, which will inspire you to new achievements! There are currently 253 quotes on this page collected since May 16, 1929! Share our collection of quotes with your friends on social media so that they can find something to inspire them!
  • I am suspicious - first of all, in myself - of adopted mysticisms of glib spirituality, above all of white people's tendency to ... vampirize American Indian, or African, or Asian, or other 'exotic' ways of understanding.

    Adrienne Rich (2003). “What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (Expanded Edition)”, p.16, W. W. Norton & Company
  • in the nineteenth year and the eleventh month speak your tattered Kaddish for all suicides: Praise to life though it crumbled in like a tunnel on ones we knew and loved Praise to life though its windows blew shut on the breathing-room of ones we knew and loved Praise to life though ones we knew and loved loved it badly, too well, and not enough Praise to life though it tightened like a knot on the hearts of ones we thought we knew loved us Praise to life giving room and reason to ones we knew and loved who felt unpraisable. Praise to them, how they loved it, when they could.

  • We have seen over and over that white male historians in general have tended to dismiss any history they didn't themselves write,on the grounds that it is unserious, unscholarly, a fad, too "political," "merely" oral and thus unreliable.

  • We move but our words stand become responsible for more than we intended and this is verbal privilege

    Adrienne Rich (1993). “Your Native Land, Your Life”, p.27, W. W. Norton & Company
  • A patriot is one who wrestles for the soul of her country as she wrestles for her own being.

    Adrienne Rich (2012). “Later Poems: Selected and New: 1971-2012: 1971–2012”, p.230, W. W. Norton & Company
  • Increasingly I think of poetry as a theatre of voices, not as coming from a single "I" or from any one position. I want to imagine voices different from my own.

  • Since we're not young, weeks have to do time for years of missing each other.Yet only this odd warp in time tells me we're not young.

    1978 The Dream of a Common Language,'Twenty-One Love Poems, III'.
  • I think my work comes out of both an intense desire for connection and what it means to feel isolated. There's always going to be a kind of tidal movement back and forth between the two.

  • We need to imagine a world in which every woman is the presiding genius of her own body. In such a world women will truly create new life, bringing forth not only children if and as we choose but the visions, and the thinking, necessary to sustain, console and alter human existence-a new relationship to the universe. Sexuality, politics, intelligence, power, motherhood, work, community, intimacy will develop new meanings; thinking itself will be transformed. This is where we have to begin.

    Adrienne Rich (1976). “Of woman born motherhood as experience and institution”
  • In the interstices of language lie powerful secrets of the culture.

    Adrienne Rich (1995). “Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution”, p.198, W. W. Norton & Company
  • No one ever told us we had to study our lives,make of our lives a study, as if learning natural historyor music, that we should beginwith the simple exercises firstand slowly go on tryingthe hard ones, practicing till strengthand accuracy became one with the daringto leap into transcendence, take the chance of breaking down in the wild arpeggioor faulting the full sentence of the fugue.

  • A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.

    Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" l. 26 (1963)
  • Nothing could have prepared me for the realization that I was a mother ... when I knew I was still in a state of uncreation myself.

    Adrienne Rich (1976). “Of woman born motherhood as experience and institution”
  • One of the great functions of art is to help us imagine what it is like to be not ourselves, what it is like to be someone or something else, what it is like to live in another skin, what it is like to live in another body, and in that sense to surpass ourselves, to go out beyond ourselves.

  • The worker can unionize, go out on strike; mothers are divided from each other in homes, tied to their children by compassionate bonds; our wildcat strikes have most often taken the form of physical or mental breakdown.

    Adrienne Rich (1976). “Of woman born motherhood as experience and institution”
  • Pride is a tricky, glorious, double-edged feeling.

    Adrienne Rich (1994). “Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985”, p.134, W. W. Norton & Company
  • In America we have only the present tense. I am in danger. You are in danger.

    Adrienne Rich (2002). “Poemas, 1963-2000”, p.70, Editorial Renacimiento
  • War is an absolute failure of imagination, scientific and political.

    Adrienne Rich (2003). “What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (Expanded Edition)”, p.22, W. W. Norton & Company
  • Strangers are an endangered species.

    Adrienne Rich (1993). “A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far: Poems 1978-1981”, p.40, W. W. Norton & Company
  • To do something very common, in my own way.

    Adrienne Rich (1971). “The Will to Change: Poems 1968-1970”, p.48, W. W. Norton & Company
  • The liar often suffers from amnesia. Amnesia is the silence of the unconscious.

    Adrienne Rich (2002). “Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations”, p.21, W. W. Norton & Company
  • The word revolution itself has become not only a dead relic of Leftism, but a key to the deadendedness of male politics: the revolution of a wheel which returns in the end to the same place; the revolving door of a politics which has liberated women only to use them, and only within the limits of male tolerance.

    Adrienne Rich (1995). “On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978”, p.137, W. W. Norton & Company
  • As her sons have seen her: the mother in patriarchy: controlling, erotic, castrating, heart-suffering, guilt-ridden, and guilt-provoking; a marble brow, a huge breast, an avid cave; between her legs snakes, swamp-grass, or teeth; on her lap a helpless infant or a martyred son. She exists for one purpose: to bear and nourish the son.

  • Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.

  • Our personalities seem dangerously to blur and overlap with our mother's; and, in a desperate attempt to know where mother ends and daughter begins, we perform radical surgery.

    Adrienne Rich (1976). “Of woman born motherhood as experience and institution”
  • No woman is really an insider in the institutions fathered by masculine consciousness.

    Adrienne Rich (1994). “Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985”, p.12, W. W. Norton & Company
  • Can you remember? when we thought the poets taught how to live?

    Adrienne Rich (1993). “Your Native Land, Your Life”, p.50, W. W. Norton & Company
  • Lesbian existence comprises both the breaking of a taboo and the rejection of a compulsory way of life. It is also a direct or indirect attack on the male right of access to women.

    Adrienne Rich (1994). “Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985”, p.38, W. W. Norton & Company
  • In the middle-class United States, a veneer of "alternative lifestyles" disguises the reality that, here as everywhere, women's apparent "choices" whether or not to have children are still dependent on the far from neutral will of male legislators, jurists, a male medical and pharmaceutical profession, well-financed lobbies, including the prelates of the Catholic Church, and the political reality that women do not as yet have self-determination over our bodies and still live mostly in ignorance of our authentic physicality, our possible choices, our eroticism itself.

  • Any woman's death diminishes me.

    1974 Poems: Selected and New,'FromanOldHouse inAmerica,16'. See Donne 281:85.
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  • We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 253 quotes from the Poet Adrienne Rich, starting from May 16, 1929! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!