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The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems, 1950-2001

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  2,684 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The Fact of a Doorframe is the ideal introduction to Rich's opus, from her formative lyricism in A Change of Word (1951), to the groundbreaking poems of Diving into the Wreck (1973), to the searching voice of Fox (2001).
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published October 1st 1984)
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Weinz
Rich pulls you into the depth of her sorrow like no one else I know. Beautiful and pure. Like all great poetry she should be read out loud. She was read in a park, in the car and home alone and every time she would bring me to that place that I needed to be. Which is exactly what poetry is for.

I wouldn't suggest reading her on a daily basis. Such a plan would send you down the spiral of depression and hopelessness never to be seen again.

and for the Texan: I don't how anyone could make a poem a
...more
Rachel
Apr 25, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poets and poetry-lovers
You know, it's always difficult to check the box on a book of poetry that says that I "read" it. Can you ever really say that you're "done" with a poet like Adrienne Rich?

I come back to this collection often for how clever it is--sharp words about soft subjects, like love and longing. My favorite poem of hers will always be "Storm Warnings," which you should Google on a rainy day.

Focused on the 1970s--"Diving into the Wreck" may have given me an epigraph for my thesis! Unbelievably good.
Udeni
Oct 29, 2016 Udeni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: default
Utterly compelling: both heartbreaking and uplifting, Rich delivers a punch to the stomach with every poem. Starting from her early, careful poems to the later, experimental works, this book is a snapshot of one of the worlds greatest poets. I'm ashamed I hadn't read her before. I can't ever imagine being 'finished' with this book. Some of my favourites are the '21 love poems' and the deceptively simple nature poems, such as For an Anniversary. Thank you, Carol, because without your kind suggest ...more
Vikki Marshall
Jul 08, 2012 Vikki Marshall rated it really liked it
Adrienne Rich’s poetry is complex, politically charged, and often openly mysterious. There is a distance in her words, a separation that asks for her readers to dig deeper in order to understand each piece thoroughly. The poems collected in this book span from 1950-2001, it encapsulates much of the vast history which occurred during this time frame. Rich’s words are filled with deep metaphors as well as open defiance, her writing so utterly intelligent that it often comes across as overly calcul ...more
Jeff Jackson
Feb 20, 2008 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Some amazing poems throughout this collection, especially the early and mid-period work. During those years Rich executed a wonderful balancing act on the ole personal-political axis. Her later poems became more stridently political and while I was sympathetic to their messages, the didactic words often fell flat and occasionally slid right off the page.
Elizabeth
Nov 04, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favorite poems--- first deals with the tension between reality and expectations in romantic relationships (that are not marriage), second, with sex.

Living in Sin
She had thought the studio would keep itself;
no dust upon the furniture of love.
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,
the panes relieved of grime. A plate of pears,
a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat
stalking the picturesque amusing mouse
had risen at his urging.
Not that at five each separate stair would writhe
under the milkman's tramp;
...more
Alma
Dec 26, 2010 Alma rated it liked it
I read most of her early poems and then some of the poems from later in her career that were short. I enjoyed a lot of her poems, but I really didn't like her longer poems or her poems with multiple parts. I didn't really like her experimental poetry. My favorite poems were "Rape" and "Living in Sin." I'm glad I chose her for my paper.
Jennifer
Oct 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, best-beloved
I saw Adrienne Rich in Santa Cruz this past Saturday, at a reading of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. She sat throughout, in a red chair with a lilac pillow, in front of the stage. Her hands trembled when she read, breaking my heart a bit, and she asked, polite though imperiously, for more light. I'd never have dreamed to imagine her frail.
Sps
Feb 05, 2009 Sps rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, language, 800s
Little fragments and pieces of her poems caught the light for me. I'm not very patient for long poems sometimes. But lines like this get that almost nonverbal quality, that necessity:
what are we coming to
what wants these things of us
who wants them

(from Leaflets, 1968, p. 102)
Shawn
Nov 13, 2007 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
i once heard ms. rich read aloud - i made the mistake of asking her to please sign my book with her middle name, which in hindsight was terribly arrogant of me. she didn't.

this collection is her best.
Ian
Rich is an inspiring poet. Her forms are very intriguing. The book offers a wide selection of her work, and allows the reader to see an incredible progression in imagery to sound to composition. Rich forges new paths of thought and connection within the poems collected in this book.
Rex
Mar 10, 2009 Rex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adrienne Rich is probably the pre-eminent feminist writer-poet of her generation -- excellent poetry in form and construction, and excruciatingly precise conviction and delivery.
Jennifer Harris
Dec 10, 2008 Jennifer Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
okay really. huge influence. i've read every drop written by her.
Diane
Aug 08, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book the reader can witness the evolution of the work of a master poet. Not to be missed.
Amy
Jul 12, 2015 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-books
snooze
Robin Friedman
Dec 29, 2016 Robin Friedman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Development Of A Feminist Poet

"Adrienne Rich (b. 1929) has developed into one of the United States' best known poets. She won the National Book Award in 1974 and received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1994. Her book, "The Fact of a Doorframe" consists of a selection she has made from her first nine volumes of poetry written between 1950 and 1983. In 2002, shortly after I read this book and wrote this review, "The Fact of a Doorframe was revised to add both a new introduction and also additional
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Nathan
I'm marking this book of poetry as read, and even though I've probably read every poem in here 2 or 3 times, I'm not done with it. There will be times that I read one of Rich's poems, and it means nothing to me. I'll read the same poem like a week later and I love it. Some of her poems are so symbolic, that I think the only person who grasps them is Adrienne Rich herself.
Adrienne Rich is like the love-child between e.e. cummings and Sylvia Plath. She occasionally does the goofy love poem, someti
...more
Amanda
not sold on these poems yet; am reading them primarily for the ghazals. the length of the lines seems too long, too meandering. there are too many abstractions. too many prescriptions for "the truth." i feel as if i'm being lectured to. we are all just people. perhaps it's because so many of these are responses to Ghalib's ghazals. i find no comfort in prophets. i don't believe them. that being said, there are wee bright spots, unique phrases amongs the familiar tropes. i have a friend who would ...more
Katy
Aug 27, 2015 Katy rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, poetry
Rich's poetry is political, personal, powerful, and progressive. This collection is particularly interesting, because it includes poems from several books spanning over 50 years of Rich's career--one can truly travel with her through time, through her proto-feminist writings of the early 1950s, through the Vietnam War and Rich's reactions, to the continued racism, sexism, and classism of the 1980s and beyond. Rich tackles social justice in the US with deep insight and accessibility, refusing to ...more
Andrea Woodacre
May 09, 2010 Andrea Woodacre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite poet- if you have never read her poetry start out with "Living in Sin" or "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" (also, you should read Donne's poem with it since it is a response to his)... Rich's language is so beautiful and poignant, and rich with meaning (no pun intended haha) you won't be able to stop reading her poetry. Her poem topics range from personal experiences and battling with her sexuality to world issues. A must read.
Christine
Jul 21, 2007 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't experienced Adrienne Rich's poetry before, you're really missing out....but be prepared...her poetry is anything but light reading. She addresses politics, history, women's rights, the relationships between people, and other pressing issues of today. I love her...I keep this book by my bed so that she's the last thing I read every night.
Madbutmagic
Mad But Magic YA Blog

from “Transcendental Etude”
No one who survives to speak
new language, has avoided this:
the cutting-away of an old force that held her
rooted to an old ground
the pitch of utter loneliness
Sparkie Allison
Aug 26, 2014 Sparkie Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rich, powerful and moving poetry that always makes me go into deep thought. It is best read in spurts and allowed to simmer with your thoughts over a few days before taking more in. I have always loved her poetry and this collection is beautiful.
Eric Shaw
Feb 10, 2008 Eric Shaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished this. Previously, I had never read or heard of Rich but this book is filled with diamonds and unlike most poetry books I buy there is plenty worth gnawing over not just one or two miracles.
Maria
Jul 13, 2013 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Δε θεωρώ πως η ποίηση, ιδιαιτέρως η ποίηση, μπορει να βαθμολογηθεί ή να κριθεί. Ξέρω όμως ότι λατρεύω τη Rich. Ξέρω πως όλοι πρέπει να γνωρίσουν το έργο αυτής της μοναδικής δημιουργού. Ξέρω πως εγω διαβάζοντας την έγινα πλουσιότερη σε σκέψεις, συναισθήματα, συμπεράσματα.Μοναδικές στιγμές!!!!!
Ross Cohen


Rich was a visionary poet who received images of terrible grace, like Dante or Blake before her. The fact that she anchors her voice in her time and place amplifies her visions' potency and urgency. Amazing and arresting writing.
Frank Pounding
Mar 29, 2012 Frank Pounding rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
farewell, adrienne.
Elizabeth
Aug 02, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the all time best poets
Jessica
Jul 24, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, poetry, feminist
Much better than I expected. I particularly enjoyed "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law," Rich's take on Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
Taylor Brack
Aug 12, 2011 Taylor Brack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
!!!!!!!!
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Adrienne Rich (b. 1929). Born to a middle-class family, Rich was educated by her parents until she entered public school in the fourth grade. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe College in 1951, the same year her first book of poems, A Change of World, appeared. That volume, chosen by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and her next, The Diamond Cutters and Other Poems ...more
More about Adrienne Rich...

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“Sleeping. Turning in turn like planets rotating in their midnight meadow: a touch is enough to let us know we're not alone in the universe, even in sleep.” 59 likes
“I am an instrument in the shape/ of a woman trying to translate pulsations/ into images for the relief of the body/ and the reconstruction of the mind.” 29 likes
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