Thursday, March 29, 2012

RIP Adrienne Rich

We lost a great American poet yesterday. Last night I kept trying to think of pithy, profound things to say and I'm still at a loss for words. I remember discovering her in college as an 18 year-old undergraduate; before then, poetry was beyond me--too difficult, or too rhymey-dimey, or too mushy, something my literal mind couldn't appreciate. Adrienne Rich changed all that because, finally, here was a poet who spoke to me and for me and moved me.

A few years ago, I had the great honor of introducing her when she gave a reading on campus where I teach, and I will never forget how tiny she was, her hands gnarled by arthritis, how she was no longer able to stand while reading and sat, miked, on a small sofa to deliver her poems. Her voice was just as powerful as ever. God love her, afterwards she patiently signed five books for me to give to friends.  To me, she was a rock star, a cry in the wilderness for justice and sanity in a crazy world.

Read more about her here.

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