The Poetry Of Adrienne Rich

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Adrienne Rich was a poet and essayist, and oane of America’s foremost public intellectuals. Widely read and hugely influential, Rich’s career spanned seven decades and has hewed closely to the sotry of post war American poetry itself. Her earliest work, was formally exact anddecorois, while her work of the late 1960s and 70s became increasingly radical in both its free verse form and feminist and political content. Rich’s metamorphosis was noted by Carol Muske in the New York Times Book Revier; Muske wrote that Rich began as a “polite copyist of Yeats and Auden, wife and mother. She has progressed in life (and in her poems) from young widow and disenchanted formalist, to spiritual and rhetorical convalescent, to feminist leader, and doyenne…show more content…
Utilizing speech cadences, enjambment and irregular line and stanza lengths, Rich’s open forms have sought to include ostensibly “non poetic” language into poetry.
The poem in divided into ten parts. We cand see that the central character of the poem is present enen in the title. It is interesting how Rich choses a “daughter-in-law” as the center of the poem. She want to show the opposition between the daughter and her mother-in-law, and for comparing the role of women in different generations. Rich shows the relation between her women through their conections with men, meaning, the husband and the son. She wats to demonstrate the influence of the men over women’s lifes, and how the woman was considered a slave.
In the first part of the poem is presented the daughter in law and her early maturization. Her mother-in-law and the marriage destroyes her life. She thinks that her mother-in-law limits her life and also meaningless. She was a educated woman, her mind is fertile but she is unable to utilize it. She used to be fresh, young, and beautiful, but her marriage and motherhood have befallen her, and now she will make coffee and dust everything on the whatnot everyday of her
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Their contribution to civilization is ignored because they don’t conform to patrarchal idea of the woman’s fit place. She also quotes Mary Woolestonecraft, another feminist from that time, who fought for the rights of women. „Thus wrote / a woman, partly brave and partly good, /who fought with what she partly understood./ Few men about her would or could do more,/ hence she was labeled harpy, shrew, and whore.”
The part eight begins with a quote from Diderot: „You all die at fifteen”, wich suggest that women die at the age of fifteen, togheter with their hopes, their dreams, and they loose their individuality. They become equal to the other, they aren’t able to make a change or to confront the conventions. They are only: „ fire, tears, wit, taste, martyred ambition.”
The ninth part is about certain women that have been confortable with their roles and image given by patriarchy. They aren’t ambitious and they accept their own mediocre work. Only some women can be named heroes and can be named martyrs. „ For that, solitary confinement, / tear gas, attrition shelling./ Few applicants for that honor.
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