Adrienne Cecile Rich…..Adieu

Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers

Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.

Aunt Jennifer’s finger fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand.

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.

Adrienne Cecile Rich, written at 16 yrs old in 1945

‘Until we {women} can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves. And this drive to self-knowledge for women is more than a search for Identity: it is part of her refusal of the destructiveness of male dominated society’
(A. Rich, When We Dead Awaken: Writing As Revision)

Source: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2012, Dr Cherno Omar Barry, UNESCO-NATCOM

Though I may not agree with all that she fought for, she is undoubtedly a very passionate & brilliant poet and a  women’s rights champion.

Rest in Peace, Adrienne…..29 March 2012, 82 yrs old.
photo from poetryfoundation.org
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