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What's Your Favorite Adrienne Rich Poem?

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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.

Poet and Critic describes the transformation thusly:

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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