Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 38 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types


Waiting for the Poetry

Ange Mlinko: Was Adrienne Rich a poet?, 15 July 2021

The Power of Adrienne RichA Biography 
by Hilary Holladay.
Doubleday, 416 pp., £25, November 2020, 978 0 385 54150 3
Show More
Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 345 pp., £13.99, May, 978 0 393 54142 7
Show More
Show More
... Adrienne Rich’s​ poems speak so strongly to the current zeitgeist (dating from, say, the Occupy movement through #MeToo to Black Lives Matter) that it’s astounding – no, instructive – to realise they were written twenty, forty, fifty years ago:at your tabletelephone ringsevery four minutestalkof terrible thingsthe papers bringingno good news                                (‘New York’)False history gets made all day, any day,the truth of the new is never on the news                                (‘Turning the Wheel’)There is a cop who is both prowler and father …You have to confessto him, you are guilty of the crimeof having been forced                                (‘Rape’)Suppose you want to writeof a woman braidinganother woman’s hair –straight down, or with beads and shellsin three-strand plaits or corn-rows –you had better know the thicknessthe length the patternwhy she decides to braid her hairhow it is done to herwhat country it happens inwhat else happens in that country                                (‘North American Time’)Her essays employ an argot that contemporary opinion pieces might have cribbed from: ‘The creative energy of patriarchy is fast running out; what remains is its self-generating energy for destruction ...

No scene could be worse

Stephanie Burt: Adrienne Rich, 9 February 2012

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-10 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 89 pp., £19.99, February 2011, 978 0 393 07967 8
Show More
A Human Eye: Essays on Art in Society 1997-2008 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 180 pp., £11.99, July 2010, 978 0 393 33830 0
Show More
Show More
... Adrienne Rich’s new poems show qualities that almost require the label ‘late style’. They are made up of fragments, careless of finish and of audience. In technique, as well as in explicit subjects, they account for debilities and advancing years, which they also fiercely defy, and they look back so insistently to her earlier work that they may not seem designed to stand up on their own ...

Go girl

Jacqueline Rose: The intimate geography of women, 30 September 1999

Woman: An Intimate Geography 
by Natalie Angier.
Virago, 398 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 1 86049 685 7
Show More
Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995-98 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 75 pp., £14.95, March 1999, 0 393 04682 6
Show More
Show More
... a time ‘when, far in the future, the human race has exterminated itself.’) For a time, Adrienne Rich believed that what was destroying itself was patriarchy: ‘The creative energy of patriarchy is fast running out,’ she wrote in 1971, ‘what remains is its self-generating energy for destruction’ (‘When We Dead Awaken’). Women’s ...

Its Own Dark Styx

Marina Warner, 20 March 1997

The Nature of Blood 
by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 224 pp., £15.99, February 1997, 0 571 19073 1
Show More
Show More
... Memory says: Want to do right? Don’t count on me.’ So writes Adrienne Rich in a poem from An Atlas of a Difficult World, opening an unpunctuated sequence of horrors: lynchings, pogroms, Auschwitz, Berlin, Palestine, Israel: I am accused of child death   of drinking blood ... there is spit on my sleeve    there are phone-calls in the night ...

Feathered Wombs

Zoë Heller: Toni Morrison, 7 May 1998

by Toni Morrison.
Chatto, 300 pp., £16.99, April 1998, 0 7011 6041 1
Show More
Show More
... idiomatic speech for a mythic Kingdom-Comeparlance, while the narrative itself dissolves into Adrienne Rich-ish poetry. Take this sentence: Consolata listened to the refusing silence, more wondering than annoyed by the sky, in plumage now, gold and blue-green, strutting like requited love on the horizon. Or this one: Speeding toward the ...

A Hammer in His Hands

Frank Kermode: Lowell’s Letters, 22 September 2005

The Letters of Robert Lowell 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 852 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 571 20204 7
Show More
Show More
... importance are the poets of his own generation: Randall Jarrell, John Berryman, Theodore Roethke, Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop. There are more letters to Bishop than to anybody else. For thirty years Lowell and Bishop admired and influenced one another’s poetry and took unusual trouble over their letters. Lowell often spoke of his admiration for her ...

Fame at last

Elaine Showalter, 7 November 1991

Anne Sexton: A Biography 
by Diane Wood Middlebrook.
Virago, 488 pp., £20, November 1991, 1 85381 406 7
Show More
Show More
... She was good at the business end of poetry too, an adept self-promoter, networker and marketer. Adrienne Rich remembered Sexton’s poise and elegant good looks at a Boston party. As Middlebrook notes, ‘success in the poetry business resembled success in the wool business.’ Salesmanship and marketing certainly helped. Moreover, despite her patchy ...

Learning to speak

Gay Clifford, 21 February 1980

Gya/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 485 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 7043 2829 1
Show More
The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century 
by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
Yale, 719 pp., £15.75, October 1980, 0 300 02286 7
Show More
Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Margaret Dickie Uroff.
Illinois, 235 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 252 00734 4
Show More
Women Writing and Writing about Women 
edited by Mary Jacobus.
Croom Helm, 201 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 0 85664 745 4
Show More
Show More
... of women. The book’s second ‘passage’ demands considerable courage of the reader, as Adrienne Rich found when she reviewed it for the New York Times. It is an appalling catalogue of infibulation, foot-binding, witch-burning, suttee, and ‘modern’ gynaecological procedures with their often gratuitous ovarectomies, episiotomies and radical ...


Jacqueline Rose, 19 June 2014

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women 
by Elisabeth Badinter, translated by Adriana Hunter.
Picador, 224 pp., £10.99, June 2013, 978 1 250 03209 6
Show More
Are You My Mother? 
by Alison Bechdel.
Jonathan Cape, 304 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 0 224 09352 1
Show More
A Child of One’s Own: Parental Stories 
by Rachel Bowlby.
Oxford, 256 pp., £20, June 2013, 978 0 19 960794 5
Show More
Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome 
by Lauren Hackworth Petersen and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell.
Texas, 274 pp., £16.99, April 2013, 978 0 292 75434 8
Show More
Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in 20th-Century England 
by Pat Thane and Tanya Evans.
Oxford, 240 pp., £24.99, August 2013, 978 0 19 968198 3
Show More
I Don’t Know Why She Bothers: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Womanhood 
by Daisy Waugh.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, July 2013, 978 0 297 86876 7
Show More
Show More
... it is, without immediately divesting the newborn of her or his humanity. ‘Every infant born,’ Adrienne Rich writes in Of Woman Born (1976), her meditation on being a mother, ‘is testimony to the intricacy and breadth of possibilities inherent in humanity.’ The rest of the book relentlessly charts the way motherhood as an institution crushes that ...

On Laura Kasischke

Stephanie Burt: Laura Kasischke, 2 August 2018

... poems let some of us say about them what Helen Vendler once said about the early books of Adrienne Rich: ‘someone my age was writing down my life.’ Kasischke has chronicled her generation, the generation where wild kids learned to smoke, and then learned, as adults, never to smoke: the memory of youthful cigarettes, in her poem ...
The Man with Night Sweats 
by Thom Gunn.
Faber, 88 pp., £5.99, February 1992, 0 571 16257 6
Show More
Show More
... nationality. He ‘rises above’ such matters – and, by just so much, he pushes them down. Adrienne Rich was right to be angry when friends said they found her poems ‘universal’: she heard ‘a denial, a kind of resistance, a refusal to read and hear what I’ve actually written, to acknowledge what I am.’ In ‘The Redress of ...

Exotic Bird from Ilford

Robert Baird: Denise Levertov, 25 September 2014

Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life 
by Dana Greene.
Illinois, 328 pp., £22.99, October 2012, 978 0 252 03710 8
Show More
A Poet’s Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov 
by Donna Krolik Hollenberg.
California, 515 pp., £30.95, April 2013, 978 0 520 27246 0
Show More
Collected Poems 
by Denise Levertov.
New Directions, 1063 pp., £32.99, December 2013, 978 0 8112 2173 3
Show More
Show More
... were rigorous and concise. It would be easy enough to claim her, along with Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich, as one of the most important women writing poetry in English in the decades after the Second World War, if ‘woman poet’ hadn’t been a category Levertov despised. ‘Among Jews a Goy, among Gentiles … a Jew or at least a half-Jew ...

Separate Development

Patricia Craig, 10 December 1987

The Female Form 
by Rosalind Miles.
Routledge, 227 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 7102 1008 6
Show More
Feminism and Poetry 
by Jan Montefiore.
Pandora, 210 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 86358 162 5
Show More
Nostalgia and Sexual Difference 
by Janice Doane and Devon Hodges.
Methuen, 169 pp., £20, June 1987, 9780416015317
Show More
Reading Woman 
by Mary Jacobus.
Methuen, 316 pp., £8.95, November 1987, 0 416 92460 3
Show More
The New Feminist Criticism 
edited by Elaine Showalter.
Virago, 403 pp., £11.95, March 1986, 0 86068 722 8
Show More
Reviewing the Reviews 
Journeyman, 104 pp., £4.50, June 1987, 1 85172 007 3Show More
Show More
... shared with other women’: this is Jan Montefiore’s understanding of the position taken by Adrienne Rich.) It’s a tenet upheld by both radical feminists and anti-feminists, this matter of ‘indifference’. The Anti lot aren’t averse to turning the arguments of the others to their own invidious ends. Ivan Illich, in his book Gender, can ...

Just William

Doris Grumbach, 25 June 1987

Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice 
by Sharon O’Brien.
Oxford, 544 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 19 504132 1
Show More
Show More
... explorations of the mother-daughter bond in the formation of women’s consciousness (the bond Adrienne Rich said was patriarchal society’s ‘great unwritten story’), O’Brien posits this strong current in Cather’s life, ‘possibly more intense for her as a lesbian than for heterosexual women, since her lovers directly reinvoked the dynamic ...

In the Ice-Box

Janette Turner Hospital, 12 January 1995

The Book of Intimate Grammar 
by David Grossman, translated by Betsy Rosenberg.
Cape, 343 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 224 03285 2
Show More
Show More
... the only philosophy he really knew’ and he begins with the grammar closest in (to paraphrase Adrienne Rich on geography), that of the body – because beyond and above all other cages, Aron is trapped in his body, a pre-pubescent one which refuses to grow. Aron’s parents, especially his mother, would tell Aron’s story far more simply. Until the ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences