Tuesday, May 12, 2009
By Gerald Marchewka
Entering the private world of a master poet
is indeed a gift from God.
In her lonely room ...
heroism, mettle, valor
Colon's, comma's, apostrophe's, periods
exclamation points, question marks
Red ink is on the ribbon plate
A small blister on her thumb.
During the twentieth century one of the most influential poets is no doubt, Adrienne Rich. As a writer of considerable breath and scope, Rich became a recognized poet at the tender age of twenty-two.
In her last year of college, her first collection of poetry, A Change of World was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Rich was selected by none other than W.H. Auden, the eminent poet who is often considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
Over the years Rich became noted for the exploration of topics related to gender roles and human sexuality. In 1976, Rich published Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. This controversial collection of poetry which was hailed by some critics and harshly criticized by others was a declaration of her lesbian identity. A subsequent publication, Dream of a Common Language contained explicit references of sexual desire.
In addition to her poetry, Rich's work was combined with a spirited interest in the social and political issues of her day. She became actively involved in protesting the American War in Vietnam. And she was also a significant figure in the woman's liberation movement.
Rich was a contributing member of the Boston Woman's Fund, the National Writer's Union, Sisterhood in Support of Sister's in South Africa and the New Jewish Agenda.
Gerald Marchewka is an American freelance writer currently staying in Siem Reap, Cambodia. At the moment he is teaching language, literature, culture and social theory at the Cambodian University for the Specialties. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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