Adrienne Rich Quotes
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The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.
Change is not a threat to your life, but an invitation to live.
There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.
My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.
We must use what we have to invent what we desire.
Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again.
The beauty of darkness is how it lets you see.
If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless. You build from the ground up.
Until we know the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.
Language is power... Language can be used as a means of changing reality.
Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.
It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness
I believe that words can help us move or keep us paralyzed, and that our choices of language and verbal tone have something - a great deal - to do with how we live our lives.
The most notable fact that our culture imprints on women is a sense of our limits. The most important thing a woman can do for another is to illuminate her actual possibilities.
Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage.
An honorable human relationship ... is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
It will take all your heart, it will take all your breath It will be short, it will not be simple
Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.
When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.
We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.
If you think you can grasp me, think again: my story flows in more than one direction, a delta springing from the river bed with its five fingers spread.
Any woman's death diminishes me.
The words are purposes./The words are maps./I came to see the damage that was done/and the treasures that prevail.
Every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome.
Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions-it means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short.
Lying is done with words and also with silence.
Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events.
The password is a flicker of an eyelash.
War is an absolute failure of imagination, scientific and political. That a war can be represented as helping a people to 'feel good' about themselves, or their country, is a measure of that failure.
I keep coming back to you in my head, but you couldn't know that, and I have no carbons.
Writers matter in a society to the extent that we can help that society hear its unvoiced longing, encounter its erased and disregarded selves, break with complacency, numbness, despair.
Poetry can open locked chambers of possibiity, restore numbed zones to feeling, recharge desire.
It's exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.
Only where there is language is there world.
Abortion is violence; a deep, desperate violence inflicted by a woman upon, first of all, herself.
The more I live, the more I think, two people together is a miracle.
Pride is a tricky, glorious, double-edged feeling.
To seek visions, to dream dreams, is essential, and it is also essential to try new ways of living, to make room for serious experimentation, to respect the effort even where it fails.
False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news.
How we dwelt in two worlds the daughters and the mothers in the kingdom of the sons.
The moment of change is the only poem.
Life on the planet is born of woman.
I came to explore the wreck.
I long to create something that can't be used to keep us passive: I want to write a script about plumbing, how every pipe is joined to every other.
Grief held back from the lips wears at the heart; the drop that refused to join the river dried up in the dust.
The repossession by women of our bodies will bring far more essential change to human society than the seizing of the means of production by workers.
I feel more helpless with you than without you.
As a society in turmoil, we are going to see more, and more various, attempts to simulate order through repression; and art is a historical target for such efforts.
When someone with the authority of a teacher describes the world and you’re not in it, there’s a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.