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Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in Adrienne Rich Comunnity's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
12:26 am
looking for quote help
all my books are packed and so i'm hoping someone here can help....

i want to reference a Rich quote that i only vaguely remember -- something about how the footsteps of our foremothers are erased, leaving each who follows to feel alone having to forge a path for herself.

if ANYONE can provide the actual quote and citation, i will love you forever =)
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
9:24 pm
The Rape
There is a cop who is both prowler and father:
he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,
had certain ideals.
You hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,
on horseback, one hand touching his gun.

You hardly know him but you have to get to know him:
he has access to machinery that could kill you.
He and his stallion clop like warlords among the trash,
his ideals stand in the air, a frozen cloud
from between his unsmiling lips.

And so, when the time comes, you have to turn to him,
the maniac's sperm still greasing your thighs,
your mind whirling like crazy. You have to confess
to him, you are guilty of the crime
of having been forced.

And you see his blue eyes, the blue eyes of all the family
whom you used to know, grow narrow and glisten,
his hand types out the details
and he wants them all
but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best.

You hardly know him but now he thinks he knows you:
he has taken down your worst moment
on a machine and filed it in a file.
He knows, or thinks he knows, how much you imagined;
He knows, or thinks he knows, what you secretly wanted.

He has access to machinery that could get you put away;
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
your details sound like a portrait of your confessor,
will you swallow, will you deny them, will you like your way home?
Monday, September 4th, 2006
11:46 am
The Demon Lover
1 Fatigue, regrets. The lights
2 go out in the parking lot
3 two by two. Snow blindness
4 settles over the suburb.
5 Desire. Desire. The nebula
6 opens in space, unseen,
7 your heart utters its great beats
8 in solitude. A new
9 era is coming in.
10 Gauche as we are, it seems
11 we have to play our part.

12 A plaid dress, silk scarf,
13 and eyes that go on stinging.
14 Woman, stand off. The air
15 glistens like silk.
16 She's gone. In her place stands
17 a schoolgirl, morning light,
18 the half-grown bones
19 of innocence. Is she
20 your daughter or your muse,
21 this tree of blondness
22 grown up in a field of thorns?

23 Something piercing and marred.
24 Take note. Look back. When quick
25 the whole northeast went black
26 and prisoners howled and children
27 ran through the night with candles,
28 who stood off motionless
29 side by side while the moon swam up
30 over the drowned houses?
31 Who neither touched nor spoke?

[Page 292 ]

32 whose nape, whose finger-ends
33 nervelessly lied the hours away?

34 A voice presses at me.
35 If I give in it won't
36 be like the girl the bull rode,
37 all Rubens flesh and happy moans.
38 But to be wrestled like a boy
39 with tongue, hips, knees, nerves, brain ...
40 with language?
41 He doesn't know. He's watching
42 breasts under a striped blouse,
43 his bull's head down.
44 The old wine pours again through my veins.

45 Goodnight, then. 'Night. Again
46 we turn our backs and weary
47 weary we let down.
48 Things take us hard, no question.
49 How do you make it, all the way
50 from here to morning? I touch
51 you, made of such nerve
52 and flare and pride and swallowed tears.
53 Go home. Come to bed. The skies
54 look in at us, stern.
55 And this is an old story.

56 I dreamed about the war.
57 We were all sitting at table
58 in a kitchen in Chicago.
59 The radio had just screamed
60 that Illinois was the target.
61 No one felt like leaving,
62 we sat by the open window
63 and talked in the sunset.

[Page 293 ]

64 I'll tell you that joke tomorrow,
65 you said with your saddest smile,
66 if I can remember.

67 The end is just a straw,
68 a feather furling slowly down,
69 floating to light by chance, a breath
70 on the long-loaded scales.
71 Posterity trembles like a leaf
72 and we go on making heirs and heirlooms.
73 The world, we have to make it,
74 my coexistent friend said, leaning
75 back in his cell.
76 Siberia vastly hulks
77 behind him, which he did not make.

78 Oh futile tenderness
79 of touch in a world like this!
80 how much longer, dear child,
81 do you think sex will matter?
82 There might have been a wedding
83 that never was:
84 two creatures sprung free
85 from castiron covenants.
86 Instead our hands and minds
87 erotically waver ...
88 Lightness is unavailing.

89 Catalpas wave and spill
90 their dull strings across this murk of spring.
91 I ache, brilliantly.
92 Only where there is language is there world.
93 In the harp of my hair, compose me
94 a song. Death's in the air,
95 we all know that. Still, for an hour,
96 I'd like to be gay. How could a gay song go?

[Page 294 ]

97 Why that's your secret, and it shall be mine.
98 We are our words, and black and bruised and blue.
99 Under our skins, we're laughing.

100 In triste veritas?
101 Take hold, sweet hands, come on ...
102 Broken!
103 When you falter, all eludes.
104 This is a seasick way,
105 this almost/never touching, this
106 drawing-off, this to-and-fro.
107 Subtlety stalks in your eyes,
108 your tongue knows what it knows.
109 I want your secrets--- I will have them out.
110 Seasick, I drop into the sea.

Current Mood: faint
Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
3:51 pm
Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750-1848),
astronomer, sister of William; and others.

A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
the skies are full of them

a woman 'in the snow
among the Clocks and instruments
or measuring the ground with poles'

in her 98 years to discover
8 comets

She whom the moon ruled
like us
levitating into the night sky
riding the polished lenses

Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled

in those spaces of the mind

An eye,
'virile, precise and absolutely certain'
from the mad webs of Uranusborg
encountering the NOVA
every impulse of light exploding
from the core
as life flies out of us

Tycho whispering at last
'Let me not seem to have lived in vain'

What we see, we see
and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain
and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar
heart sweating through my body

The radio impulse
pouring in from Taurus

I am bombarded yet I stand
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-
luted that a light wave could take 15
years to travel through me And has
taken I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2005
8:50 pm
I need a copy of the poem "Sources" for a poetry essay, for the purpose of comparing it with Sylvia Plath's "Daddy".. this poem isn't in our anthology and I can't seem to find it online. Help please?
Sunday, October 16th, 2005
5:15 pm
living in sin
The pact that we made was the ordinary pact
of men & women in those days

I don't know who we thought we were
that our personalities
could resist the failures of the race

Lucky or unlucky, we didn't know
the race had failures of that order
and that we were going to share them

Like everybody else, we thought of ourselves as special

Your body is as vivid to me
as it ever was: even more

since my feeling for it is clearer:
I know what it could and could not do

it is no longer
the body of a god
or anything with power over my life

Next year it would have been 20 years
and you are wastefully dead
who might have made the leap
we talked, too late, of making

which I live now
not as a leap
but a succession of brief, amazing movements

each one making possible the next
Tuesday, September 27th, 2005
2:26 pm
aunt jennifers tigers
Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.

Aunt Jennifer's fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.
Sunday, August 28th, 2005
7:34 pm
You, once a belle in Shreveport,
with henna-colored hair, skin like a peachbud,
still have your dresses copied from that time,
and play a Chopin prelude
called by Cortot: "Delicious recollections
float like perfume through the memory."

Your mind now, moldering like wedding-cake,
heavy with useless experience, rich
with suspicion, rumor, fantasy,
crumbling to pieces under the knife-edge
of mere fact.  In the prime of your life.

Nervy, glowering, your daughter
wipes the teaspoons, grows another way.

Banging the coffee-pot into the sink
she hears the angels chiding, and looks out
past the raked gardens to the sloppy sky.
Only a week since They said: Have no patience.

The next time it was: Be insatiable.
Then: Save yourself; others you cannot save.
Sometimes she's let the tapstream scald her arm,
a match burn to her thumbnail,

or held her hand above the kettle's snout
right inthe woolly steam.  They are probably angels,
since nothing hurts her anymore, except
each morning's grit blowing into her eyes.

A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
The beak that grips her, she becomes.  And Nature,
that sprung-lidded, still commodious
steamer-trunk of tempora and mores
gets stuffed with it all:    the mildewed orange-flowers,
the female pills, the terrible breasts
of Boadicea beneath flat foxes' heads and orchids.
Two handsome women, gripped in argument,
each proud, acute, subtle, I hear scream
across the cut glass and majolica
like Furies cornered from their prey:
The argument ad feminam, all the old knives
that have rusted in my back, I drive in yours,
ma semblable, ma soeur!

Knowing themselves too well in one another:
their gifts no pure fruition, but a thorn,
the prick filed sharp against a hint of scorn...
Reading while waiting
for the iron to heat,
writing, My Life had stood--a Loaded Gun--
in that Amherst pantry while the jellies boil and scum,
or, more often,
iron-eyed and beaked and purposed as a bird,
dusting everything on the whatnot every day of life.

Dulce ridens, dulce loquens,
she shaves her legs until they gleam
like petrified mammoth-tusk.

When to her lute Corinna sings
neither words nor music are her own;
only the long hair dipping
over her cheek, only the song
of silk against her knees
and these
adjusted in reflections of an eye.

Poised, trembling and unsatisfied, before
an unlocked door, that cage of cages,
tell us, you bird, you tragical machine--
is this fertillisante douleur? Pinned down
by love, for you the only natural action,
are you edged more keen
to prise the secrets of the vault? has Nature shown
her household books to you, daughter-in-law,
that her sons never saw?

"To have in this uncertain world some stay
which cannot be undermined, is
of the utmost consequence."

                                                Thus wrote
a woman, partly brave and partly good,
who fought with what she partly understood.
Few men about her would or could do more,
hence she was labeled harpy, shrew and whore.

"You all die at fifteen," said Diderot,
and turn part legend, part convention.
Still, eyes inaccurately dream
behind closed windows blankening with steam.
Deliciously, all that we might have been,
all that we were--fire, tears,
wit, taste, martyred ambition--
stirs like the memory of refused adultery
the drained and flagging bosom of our middle years.

Not that it is done well, but
that it is done at all?
Yes, think
of the odds! or shrug them off forever.
This luxury of the precocious child,
Time's precious chronic invalid,--
would we, darlings, resign it if we could?
Our blight has been our sinecure:
mere talent was enough for us--
glitter in fragments and rough drafts.

Sigh no more, ladies.
                                Time is male
and in his cups drinks to the fair.
Bemused by gallantry, we hear
our mediocrities over-praised,
indolence read as abnegation,
slattern thought styled intuition,
every lapse forgiven, our crime
only to cast too bold a shadow
or smash the mold straight off.
For that, solitary confinement,
tear gas, attrition shelling.
Few applicants for that honor.

she's long about her coming, who must be
more merciless to herself than history.
Her mind full to the wind, I see her plunge
breasted and glancing through the currents,
taking the light upon her
at least as beautiful as any boy
or helicopter,
                                poised, still coming,
her fine blades making the air wince

but her cargo
no promise then:
Saturday, November 6th, 2004
1:54 pm
This is a community where people can discuss Adrienne Rich and her work. My name is Lauren and my LJ is quempel. I have just finnished studying Ms Rich in my final year of school and I am currently reading her essays in Bread, Blood and Poetry. I hope everyone can enjoy this community and get alot out of it.
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