Adrienne Rich: Adrienne Rich's Poetry

(3448 words)

A Change of World, Rich’s debut volume, was awarded the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1951, the year she graduated from Radcliffe College. In the Foreword to her Collected Early Poems, Rich explains that at the age of 21 she “implicitly dissociated poetry from politics” and was far from desiring to change the world: “‘Change’ [in these poems] means unpredictability, unrest, menace—not something ‘we’ might desire and even help bring to pass” (CEP, 1993, xx). The speaker of “Storm Warnings”, the leadoff poem in the volume, is bracing for incle­ment weather but her “sole defense against the season” is to draw the curtains, close the …

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Hedley, Eleanor Jane. "Adrienne Rich's Poetry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 February 2011
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]