I always thought of Adrienne Rich as a Titan, in the Greek-god sense. She was ferocious, strong and steadfast, and she was an extraordinary poet. After winning major prizes for her early books, she declared that she needed to write in a different way in order to talk about the things that mattered to her. She came out as a lesbian, which was a political act as much as a personal one. Adrienne demonstrated that you don’t separate your life as a poet from your everyday life. She was instrumental in the acceptance of poets’ being able to write about what’s happening in the world, like war and oppression, breaking down that barrier between what was and wasn’t permissible in art.
In her poem “A Long Conversation,” she writes, “I am my art. I make it from my body and the bodies that produced mine.” That, in a certain way, describes Adrienne, her philosophy and her heart.
Dove, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was the U.S. poet laureate
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