CULTURE

What's Your Favorite Adrienne Rich Poem?

03/29/2012 11:27 am ET

Adrienne Rich, a beloved feminist poet and essayist known for her political themes, died yesterday.

Her first poetry collection, "A Change of World," was written during her last year at a women's college. It won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and is noted for its use of unpoetic language. After graduating, Rich married a Harvard economics professor. The couple had three children, and Rich claimed motherhood began to radicalize her work. Soon her traditional language evolved into free verse.

The twenty-year-old author of painstaking, decorous poems that are eager to 'maturely' accept the world they are given becomes a ... poet of prophetic intensity and 'visionary anger' bitterly unable to feel at home in a world 'that gives no room / to be what we dreamt of being.'

We asked out readers what their favorite Rich poems are, and amid the varying responses one piece stood out: "Diving into the Wreck", her most famous work which parallels the struggles of women with the exploration of a bleak sea.

A notable stanza reads:

This is the place.

And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair

streams black, the merman in his armored body.

We circle silently

about the wreck

we dive into the hold.

I am she: I am he

Other favorites included "For This" and "Power."

What's your favorite Adrienne Rich poem? See below for what our readers said.

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