The Appeal Of Adrienne Rich’s Poetry
The poems of Adrienne Rich spoke to me in a powerful way. She was definitely one of the most original and thought provoking poets on my course. The poems that I have studied represent many of the new ideas that emerged during her life. Not only do I find these ideas interesting, but I believe that I have benefited directly from them. Her feminist outlook on life is evident in every one of her poems. The poems i have studied include; Living in Sin, Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, Power and The Roofwalker In Living in Sin Rich shows how relationships are approached and experienced differently by women and men. She focuses on a relationship where the woman and her husband are not equal; in the poem images are used to show what each member of the relationship faces. While these images are mundane and appear unimportant at first glance, they effectively show the female in an inferior position. The woman is confronted with stressful duties, seen with the images of ‘the sheets’ which need to be pulled back and to ‘let the coffee-pot boil over the stove’. The man is confronted with much less challenging and trivial duties; this is shown with the ‘dozen notes upon the keyboard’ and the relatively unimportant task of rubbing at ‘his beard’. In contrasting what the man and woman face in their relationships through such images, Rich shows the need for equality and thus her as a feminist; while the man’s version of where they live is the image of the ‘studio’, where he can simply pursue his pleasures, in contrast for Rich the studio becomes a place of work, where such images as the dusty ‘furniture of love’ need to be taken care of. A similar image of apparent worthlessness is seen in Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, however once more it serves to show the oppression of a female. The image of ‘The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band’ which ‘Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand’ at first glance seems to provide evidence of a marriage but on closer...
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