A Wild Patience Has Taken Me this Far (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
For more than thirty years, Adrienne Rich has charted the emotional, political, social transformations of her time. Using her own life as the image of the deeply particular and impressively universal, Rich has carved into the American awareness a consciouness of change. Beginning as a finely controlled craftswoman writing in the style of Robert Lowell in the early 1950’s, Rich in A Change of World (1951) spoke to the constraints of womanhood, the limits of the female environment. Late in the 1950’s, Snapshots of a Daughter-In-Law marked her bursting forward to chart a new sensibility. The poetic line was less rigorous; language and rhythm began to work together in the by-now familiar Rich tapestry. The Will to Change (1971) and Diving into the Wreck (1973) most clearly connected Rich to political changes—to the Civil Rights movement, the war in Vietnam, the women’s movement. Her marriage, which ended during this period in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, had produced three sons, and, as Rich sharpened her feminist sensibility, she also pondered her role as the mother of males. Diving into the Wreck poignantly works through male/female relationships: the pain of her lost idealizations, the harsh reality of her husband’s suicide, the motherly fear for her sons’ involvement in the war.
(The entire section is 1508 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
Best Sellers. XLI, January, 1982, p. 394.
Library Journal. CVI, October 15, 1981, p. 2033.
Ms. X, December, 1981, p. 21.
The New York Review of Books. XXVIII, December 17, 1981, p. 32.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVI, December 20, 1981, p. 7.
Village Voice Literary Supplement. December, 1981, p. 20.
(The entire section is 38 words.)