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What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics
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What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Through journals, letters, dreams, and close readings of the work of many poets, Adrienne Rich reflects on how poetry and politics enter and impinge on American life. This expanded edition includes a new preface by the author as well as her post-9/11 "Six Meditations in Place of a Lecture."
Paperback, Expanded Edition, 352 pages
Published October 17th 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company
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(showing 1-30 of 698)
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Andy Jackson
An incredibly inspiring and challenging collection of essays on poetry, particularly its politically transformative dimension. While Rich does speak about and from the USA, this is not so much a limitation but an implied challenge to the reader to think through their own context. From the final essay:

"A revolutionary poem will not tell you who or when to kill, what and when to burn, or even how to theorize. It reminds you (for you have known, somehow, all along, maybe lost track) where and when...more
Travis
Crucial. Timeless.

So rarely do essays successfully argue for the importance of poetry and engaged politics in daily life. And rarer to have a speaker this thoughtful.

You might be turned off by the occasional flourishes of new age (Native American philosophy) or poetic flight (lists of bird names), but Rich is too deft to get mired in the cliches.

Why wasn't I required to read this in any of the many English classes I took?
Lynda
Shows a deep understanding of the subject. I read it twice because I didn't want to miss anything.
Tucker
Mar 03, 2012 Tucker rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tucker by: Jesus
Shelves: beautiful, finished
A manifesto on behalf of the power of poetry to give voice to the politically marginalized, to resist commercialization by its very nature, and to remind us of our deeper desires for calm and reflection even when the stress and misfortune of everyday life lead us to a place where it is not easy to reflect. Presented as a long series of personal essays, it seemed that the author was saying the same thing over and over again, so one might just choose to read a few, but each essay was individually...more
Shane Ebbert
Love this quote :

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. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: “I have an inward t...more
Susan
Inspiring book on the value of poetry and the importance of poetry in people's lives. There is an especially good section titled 'To Invent What We Desire' -- it's a poem that basically sums up the themes of the book. And it is an inspiring piece of writing for anyone who wants to write, or is presently writing:

'That to track your own desire,
in your own language, is not an isolated
task. You yourself are marked by family,
gender, caste, landscape, the struggle
to make a living, or the absence of su...more
Amy
Nov 30, 2011 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
This book was beautifully written and it felt cohesive although it was composed of essays on a variety of topics. Some of the things Rich said about feeling guilty for writing poetry when things are going wrong in the world really hit home with me. She reassures herself (and the reader) that poetry and art are inherently political, and are necessary facets of social justice and freedom. She also refers to many other poets, who I am now interested in reading. The best book I've read in awhile.
Kalia
I'm only about half way through this right now, but it's absolutely what i need to be reading. This book was written in the '90s but feels completely relevant to this moment. Rich's language is beautiful, intricately woven, and every bit of it rings true. This book is painful in the best sense in that in challenges my way of thinking about poetry, about politics, about art and about my own life. I'm very thankful for this book.
Violetmyst17
i've read this book in sections, and am always re-reading sections. Adrienne Rich gives so much to chew over in her discussions of poetry; i digest some new angle of her essays each time. It's one of my standard "nightstand" books...i often read a section before going to sleep.

'Getting to take a "master class" with Rich in april 2000 & have her personally sign my copy of this book made it all the more treasured...
Jeffrey Bumiller
In the truest sense, Adrienne Rich embodied what it means to be a poet: an artist/writer who is able to reflect on their society, seeing the past without shying away from its grotesqueness; filtering that acquired knowledge into an (as honest as possible) commentary on the present and both a warning and hope for the future, all while using beautiful, damn near profound language.
Brendan
its been a while and i need to reread it but i do recall that its one of those books that you make feel as if maybe, just maybe, there's some reason to go on living.
Sueb
this book changed my life...I'm so glad to be re-reading it including reading it aloud to my sweetie...Rich is extraordinary to read aloud!
Donal Lyons
"You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it. This is not generally taught in school."

Ch XX "A communal poetry" is good.
Erin
It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably/ every day/ for lack of what is found there. - William Carlos Williams
Amy Sawyer
I loved Rich's essays on poetry, life, and politics. She is a wonderful writer and a force in contemporary poetry. Love her.
Cristina
Aug 25, 2007 Cristina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers of poetry and readers of poetry, maybe a polititian or two
Shelves: poetry, nonfiction
I do want to read this again. I've read it a couple of times. I am always amazed at Rich's insight. She's just brilliant.
Rebecca
Oct 29, 2007 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: brilliant visionaries in training
"It is difficult/to get the news from poems/yet men die miserably every day/for lack/of what is found there"
Allee
Interesting ponderous read on the intersection of poetry and politics. If only I was a poet.
Megan K
One of my favorite books. Awesome essays on what it is to write and what it is to live as a poet.
Elizabeth
a must read for any artist/activist...my pages are well worn and full of scribblexoxo
Bill Paterson
My favorite book on the meaning of poetry and its purpose in our world.
Danielle
Proves once and for all that poetry is political. Adrienne Rich is a bad ass.
Larissa
Took a little bit to get into, but then it was like woah.
Jan


I love this book!
Cat
In a word: beautiful.
Catherine
lesbian feminism
Jenni
Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poets
Interesting.
Kathleen Larkin
Kathleen Larkin marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2014
Sebastian Hellqvist
Sebastian Hellqvist marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2014
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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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“To read as if your life depended on it would mean to let into your reading your beliefs, the swirl of your dreamlife, the physical sensations of your ordinary carnal life; and simultaneously, to allow what you're reading to pierce routines, safe and impermeable, in which ordinary carnal life is tracked, charted, channeled. Then, what of the right answers, the so-called multiple-choice examination sheet with the number 2 pencil to mark one choice and one choice only?” 13 likes
“We must use what we have to invent what we desire.” 1 likes
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