Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Adrienne Rich on poetry and politics

Liked this short essay by Adrienne Rich on poetry and politics, in the online Virginia Quarterly Review. (Thanks to poet Anne Haines, who posted a link to the essay in her blog Land Mammal.)

If you haven't, also check out Rich's book of essays What Is Found There: Notes on Poetry and Politics.

I have a book of her essays but I've never really been able to get into her critical writing. And for that matter, I like her older poems but I can take or leave her newer stuff. The book with Diving into the Wreck is my favorite book of hers.
Lyle Daggett,

Yeah, Ms. Rich's words are not only philosophically sound but practical -- i.e., helpful as a blueprint for aesthetic action.

Actually the reason for this note is something else. Is it possible to get your email address? Mine is rebsalerno@comcast.net. I'm a writer too and have 5 poems in the current Pemmican as well as poems and an interview in the current Avatar Review.

At any rate, I wanted to touch base since I've been coming back to your site for about a year now.

Robert Bohm
Hi Lyle,
I liked 'Lies, Secrets and Silence' 20 years ago.
In the 'poetry and politics' piece-this sentence of Adrienne RIch's seems useful -
'What, who is this about?” is not the essential question. A poem is not about; it is out of and to.'
But I don't agree with the next bit - it's too general and cliched -
' Passionate language in movement. The deep structure is always musical, and physical—as breath, as pulse'
A flat, monotonous poem or a stertorous or choked and shallow poem can be just as powerful/good/interesting as whatever 'passionate language in movement' might be.
You're right though - it's a nice piece.
All the best,
Jenni, Robert, Pam -- thanks for your comments.
i love what is found there. i saw rich read with philip levine seix or seven years ago in fresno for a prison(er) rights benefit. she was good.
Do you happen to have Adrienne Rich's email address? I wish to take her permission to translate this piece into Hindi.


I don't have an e-mail address for Adrienne Rich. Ms. Rich and I don't know each other personally, and we are not in contact with each other.

Adrienne Rich is listed in the online Directory in the Poets & Writers website. The address (postal address and e-mail address) listed for her there are at the Steven Barclay Agency, which represents her.

The e-mail address (at the Barclay agency) is: steven [at] barclayagency [dot] com.

Of course if you e-mail to the above, substitute the "@" symbol and the "." as needed, and remove the extra spaces.

The website for the Barclay agency is at www.barclayagency.com.

I hope this helps. And thanks for coming by and reading and commenting.

Thanks for the information.
May I have your email address as well? I'm interested in translating few of your poems (especially 'One,Two,Many Vietnams)too?


You're certainly welcome to translate some of my poems.

You can e-mail me at lyledaggett [at] att [dot] net

Again of course substituting the @ symbol and " . " as needed, and removing the extra spaces.
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