25 Adrienne Rich Quotes from the Feminist Poet

Adrienne Rich quotes are perfect if you love learning about fascinating historical figures.

Rich was a poet and an essayist that used her work to bring the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of society.

Adrienne Cecile Rich was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1929 and died in Santa Cruz, California, in 2012.

She worked to create a female continuum of solidarity and creativity to impact women’s lives which she called the “lesbian continuum.”

In 1966 Rich moved her family to New York and became very involved with the New Left, anti-war, civil rights, and feminist activism movements.

She continued to write and even signed a pledge vowing to refuse tax payments as a protest against the Vietnam War.

Look at these Adrienne Rich Quotes to learn more about this influential, historical female figure.

Adrienne Rich Quotes Sharing Her Ideas and Thoughts

These quotes give you a taste of what Adrienne Rich believed in her lifetime.

1. “Life on the planet is born of woman.” — Adrienne Rich

2. “A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.” — Adrienne Rich

3. “The moment of change is the only poem.” — Adrienne Rich

4. “Lying is done with words and also with silence.” — Adrienne Rich

5. “Pride is a tricky, glorious, double-edged feeling.” — Adrienne Rich

6. “Art, whose honesty must work through artifice, cannot avoid cheating truth.” — Adrienne Rich

7. “The connections between and among women are the key to a new world.” — Adrienne Rich

7. “False history gets made all day, any day; the truth of the new is never on the news.” — Adrienne Rich

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8. “Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events.” — Adrienne Rich

9. “Poetry is, above all, a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.” — Adrienne Rich

Feminist Adrienne Rich Quotes

As you’ll see in these quotes, Adrienne Rich strongly supported the feminist movement.

11. “When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” — Adrienne Rich

12. “Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.” — Adrienne Rich

13. “It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.” — Adrienne Rich

14. “The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.” — Adrienne Rich

15. “Poetry can’t give us the laws and institutions and representatives, the antidotes we need: only public activism by massive numbers of citizens can do that.” — Adrienne Rich

16. “Lesbian existence comprises both the breaking of a taboo and the rejection of a compulsory way of life. It is also a direct or indirect attack on the male right of access to women.” — Adrienne Rich

17. “I am a feminist because I feel endangered, psychically and physically, but this society and because I believe that the women’s movement is saying that we have come to an edge of history when men—insofar as they are embodiments of the patriarchal idea—have become dangerous to children and other living things, themselves included.” — Adrienne Rich

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More Adrienne Rich Quotes Sharing Her Ideas, Beliefs, and Opinions

Learn more about what Adrienne Rich stood for in these quotes.

18. “Every woman’s greatest fear is the loss of her own voice.” — Adrienne Rich

19. “The mind’s passion is all for singling out. Obscurity has another tale to tell.” — Adrienne Rich

20. “There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.” — Adrienne Rich

21. “The most important thing one woman can do for another is expand her sense of actual possibilities.” — Adrienne Rich

22. “The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.” — Adrienne Rich

23. “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… where and when and how you are living and might live, it is a wick of desire.” — Adrienne Rich

24. “The mother’s battle for her child with sickness, with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation and callousness that cheapen human life needs to become a common human battle, waged in love and in the passion for survival.” — Adrienne Rich

25. “I want to gesture toward a poetry of ourselves and others under the conditions of twenty-first-century absolutism, making us dimensional in a time when the human concrete is continually erased by state and religious violence and by disingenuous jargon serving state power.” — Adrienne Rich

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Rich’s Personal Life

Adrienne Rich was married in 1953 to Alfred Haskell Conrad, and they had two children together.

They started having marital issues in the late 1960s, and when she moved out in the mid-1970, her husband went into the woods and shot himself.

Her later life was spent in a romantic partnership with Michelle Cliff, which started in 1976 and lasted until Rich died in 2012.

Share these Adrienne Rich Quotes with your friends interested in historical activists, and share any comments about Adrienne Rich in the comment section below.

And if you enjoyed these quotes, check out our Arundhati Roy quotes.

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