It's a sad day for feminism, as award-winning feminist poet Adrienne Rich has passed away at the age of 82, due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis. While not necessarily a household name, Rich was incredibly influential, making her mark on an entire generation of feminist, gay rights, and anti-war activists with her socially-conscious poetry and prose.
Her collection of poems Diving Into the Wreckwon a National Book Award in 1974, which she chose to "share ... to be used as best we can for women" with fellow nominees Alice Walker and Audre Lorde. Two years later, she made waves with her feminist critique of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood calledOf Woman Born.
It's clear that through her groundbreaking work, Rich's memory will live on. Here, quotes from the brilliant, courageous writer sure to inspire ...
Great advice for Sports Illustrated swimsuit models right here: "Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you ... it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger."
Wise words for writers: "You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it."
Consider this in relationships: "Lying is done with words, and also with silence."
The connections between women: "The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet."
On war: "War is an absolute failure of imagination, scientific and political. That a war can be represented as helping a people to 'feel good' about themselves, or their country, is a measure of that failure."
Inspiration about activism: "If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless. You build from the ground up."
Here is footage of Rich herself reading her poem "What Kind of Times Are These?"
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