Adrienne Rich, Rest in Power

We were saddened to hear that poet, essayist and social activist Adrienne Rich passed away last week. Her immense contributions to American poetry changed the tenor of 20th century writing, helping to cement the place of women in our literary canon, and her longstanding efforts as an ally of female writers of color will not soon be forgotten. As a vocal feminist and out lesbian, she paved the way for further generations of artists and political provocateurs to challenge systems of oppression within our culture.

I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer

The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself

I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped

or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight

“For the Dead,” Adrienne Rich May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012



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