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Adrienne Rich Quotes

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Adrienne Rich Quote: “Lying is done with words and also with silence.”

Lying is done with words and also with silence.

— Adrienne Rich



Adrienne Rich Quote: “The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.”

The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.”

You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again.”

Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”

Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “All new learning looks at first like chaos.”

All new learning looks at first like chaos.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “In a world where language and naming are power, silence is oppression, is violence.”

In a world where language and naming are power, silence is oppression, is violence.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “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.”

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.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.”

There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Change is not a threat to your life, but an invitation to live.”

Change is not a threat to your life, but an invitation to live.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “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.”

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.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events.”

Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.”

When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Not biology, but ignorance of ourselves, has been the key to our powerlessness.”

Not biology, but ignorance of ourselves, has been the key to our powerlessness.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “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.”

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.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome.”

Every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”

Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate; nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is re-naming.”

You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate; nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is re-naming.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “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.”

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.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “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.”

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.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.”

Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.”

Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “The moment of change is the only poem.”

The moment of change is the only poem.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “To work and suffer is to be at home. All else is scenery...”

To work and suffer is to be at home. All else is scenery...

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “The liar often suffers from amnesia. Amnesia is the silence of the unconscious.”

The liar often suffers from amnesia. Amnesia is the silence of the unconscious.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “A life I didn’t choose chose me: even my tools are the wrong ones for what I have to do.”

A life I didn’t choose chose me: even my tools are the wrong ones for what I have to do.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “What would it mean to live in a city whose people were changing each other’s despair into hope? – You yourself must change it.”

What would it mean to live in a city whose people were changing each other’s despair into hope? – You yourself must change it.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “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.”

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.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.”

We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.”

It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “A language is a map of our failures.”

A language is a map of our failures.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “The more I live, the more I think, two people together is a miracle.”

The more I live, the more I think, two people together is a miracle.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Art and literature have given so many people the relief of feeling connected – pulled us out of isolation. It has let us know that somebody else breathed and dreamed and had sex and loved and raged and knew loneliness the way we do.”

Art and literature have given so many people the relief of feeling connected – pulled us out of isolation. It has let us know that somebody else breathed and dreamed and had sex and loved and raged and knew loneliness the way we do.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Your mind now, moldering like wedding-cake, heavy with useless experience, rich with suspicion, rumour, fantasy, crumbling to pieces under the knife-edge of mere fact. In the prime of your life.”

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

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “I don’t trust them but I’m learning to use them.”

I don’t trust them but I’m learning to use them.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “I keep coming back to you in my head, but you couldn’t know that, and I have no carbons.”

I keep coming back to you in my head, but you couldn’t know that, and I have no carbons.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “The beauty of darkness is how it lets you see.”

The beauty of darkness is how it lets you see.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women’s bodies by men. The woman’s body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.”

There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women’s bodies by men. The woman’s body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage.”

Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “We must use what we have to invent what we desire.”

We must use what we have to invent what we desire.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “I am the androgyne, I am the living mind you fail to describe in your dead language the lost noun, the verb surviving only in the infinitive the letters of my name are written under the lids of the newborn child.”

I am the androgyne, I am the living mind you fail to describe in your dead language the lost noun, the verb surviving only in the infinitive the letters of my name are written under the lids of the newborn child.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “What kind of beast would turn its life into words?”

What kind of beast would turn its life into words?

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Until we know the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.”

Until we know the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “The vixen I met at twilight on Route 5 south of Willoughby: long dead. She was an omen to me, surviving, herding her cubs in the silvery bend of the road in nineteen sixty-five.”

The vixen I met at twilight on Route 5 south of Willoughby: long dead. She was an omen to me, surviving, herding her cubs in the silvery bend of the road in nineteen sixty-five.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “No one sleeps in this room without the dream of a common language.”

No one sleeps in this room without the dream of a common language.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Despair, when not the response to absolute physical and moral defeat is, like war, the failure of imagination.”

Despair, when not the response to absolute physical and moral defeat is, like war, the failure of imagination.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “It will take all your heart, it will take all your breath It will be short, it will not be simple.”

It will take all your heart, it will take all your breath It will be short, it will not be simple.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “Re-vision – the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction – is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival.”

Re-vision – the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction – is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “I’ve had to guess at her, sewing her skin together as I sew mine, though with a different stitch.”

I’ve had to guess at her, sewing her skin together as I sew mine, though with a different stitch.

— Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Rich Quote: “I came to explore the wreck.”

I came to explore the wreck.

— Adrienne Rich

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