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The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New, 1950-1984

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,783 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
'Rich's writing has always lifted her naturally toward a unifying transcendental vision, a dream, but a dream simultaneously wrenched and weighted by its moral embodiment, called by her at different stages: love, truth, integrity, commonality, silence. She is a true metaphysical poet...(At times) her dialectical fire produces poems of transcendent beauty.'-Carol Muske, New ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1984)
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Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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;
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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...
“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.” 60 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.” 31 likes
More quotes…