Adrienne Rich, Adrienne Rich's Poetry

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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 shutters, and ride out the storm (CW, 1951, 13; CEP</&hellip;

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Citation: Hedley, Eleanor Jane. "Adrienne Rich's Poetry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 February 2011 [, accessed 03 October 2023.]

32159 Adrienne Rich's Poetry 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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