The first time I read Adrienne Rich's essay "Jane Eyre: Temptations of a Motherless Woman," I was enthralled. I quickly searched her name on Google, found a video of her reading "In Those Years," and I wept openly in my classroom as my students filed in. Since that time approximately eight years ago, my love affair with her words has shaped the very foundation of who I am as a woman, lesbian, teacher, and thinker. I do not have the words for how much I miss her presence in the world. I wish her family the very best.
Adrienne you are the one who taught me to hide the smallest seed pearls between my breasts and take joy in my unbound feet Pamela Thomas
Wow. What a loss. Thank you, Adrienne, for your fabulous contributions to this world and our community. I am honored to have heard you read aloud, at home in Santa Cruz, a few times but it will never be enough...
In memory of your life and ongoing spirit
we have released leis in the waters of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to say mahalo for your life at sunset today..
Love from Dr Vincent and Mary Ellen...
until we meet again.....
Adrienne Rich has narrated important phases of my life since I discovered her work at age 15, 50 years ago. Most often I repeat to myself “Two women together is a work nothing in civilization has made simple.” She also wrote “our maps were out of date by years” and she helped to draw new maps. I frequently re-read the essay ON LIES, SECRETS, AND SILENCES for the rigorous and unstinting standard it sets for truth in our relationships and dealing with others. I met her and heard her read several times, and am in awe of her gimlet intelligence and use of language. Her poetry was read at my wedding, and will be read at my funeral. Indeed, a great light is gone but not extinguished.
My sincere condolences to the Rich family and dear friends. God will get you through this most difficult time. - Psalm 46:1
Thank you for your work in poems, in social justice in art.
Thank you for your graciousness, your courage, your bravery, your tenderness.
Thank you for our mutual friends, near, close, around the world.
To your family: You have shared a rare and wondererous treasure whose legacy lives on and whose love for you was never exceeded by her world stage.
Dr. Donna Bellorado, San Francisco, CA.
Haunting, beautiful images that cut through to a steel core of truth. Reading Diving Into The Wreck shifted my whole way of thinking, and gave me hope and 'a companion' over and over. Thank you for your beautiful words and your brave actions!
May heartfelt thoughts bring you comfort and loving memories bring you peace.
With Deepest Sympathy
I got the call from you...I learned to be kinder to myself. So much respect I have for you. Many prayers to your family. What a truly remarkable journey it's been.
I carried your book in my backpack
as if it were a map I would stop and refer to it
where am I
which way should I go
Then I saw you on the street
A woman walking with a cane
You were gracious and humble without effort when I asked if you would sign your name
Your gift to us all
I first met you via Toni McNaron, passionate teacher of your words
in Minnesota. How my young eyes widened, .....how my small world
When I moved to SF
you joined us Jewish women
in prayer in SF.
In my tiny apartment with a view,
you clasped the wine goblet as we honored all women.
Yet your words of Integrity,
for Jew and Palestinan, Woman and Man,
alike is what I always remember most.
I will share your words
with the young and honor
the Wild Patience that brought us
the stunning volumes of your poems.
I am grateful also
for the Anger and the Tenderness
that you brought to everything in your life....
and especially to my seder table.
Love and healing,
to Michelle and all the family.
Missing a great Poet..
Thanks for being a part of
a legacy,thank you rip`
An amazing example of true bravery, talent, and living by one's principles; she influenced me in college, and I just saw her on the Documentary Channel (about Heresies) last night! I send condolences to all those she left behind...you have someone to truly feel proud of. Let's honor her by living bravely! Peace be with You!
You deeply affected my life and my work. Thank you for all you have done for us. Many blessings to you.
Adrienne Rich's mind and poetry supported my own journey through life, and writing. I had just reread some of my favorite pieces a couple of weeks ago. She lived life on her terms. There is no greater legacy!
Rest in peace. You will be with us always.
Thank you Adrienne Rich for being, thinking and writing. It is a loss for all left behind. You have made yourself immortal with your brilliant words and your prolific truths. They are in stone and in our hearts and minds.
Rest in peace. May your family find comfort and heal from your loss. A beautiful voice now watches down on is. More beautiful poems in heaven. April Kane
Thinking of the family who cared for and inspired Adrienne, a wonderful gift to seekers of truth - condolences to Michelle and everyone close to her. Many happy memories of typsetting at Persephone Press, of discovering the power of the words and the person. - Eileen Brady, Sisters of Mercy, NH
Dear Family, you have my deepest heartfelt condolences. May God be with you to bring you comfort and peace through this difficult time. He promises us at Isaiah 61:2, 25:8 "he will actually do away with death forever...will certainly wipe the tears from all faces."
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
thank you Adrienne Rich for all your wonderful poetry and theory. i will never forget about "compulsory heterosexuality" and what that meant to me at a time when i was searching for an intentional existence that honored my being. you guided me with your fervent, passionate ideas. namaste
Michelle, Cynthia, David, Pablo, Jacob, sweet grandchildren & all who were close...
I'm reaching out across the miles with love and energy to you all. I never got to meet Adrienne in this life. But I want to share that my reading of Adrienne's "Claiming an Education" and "Taking Women Seriously" changed my life. I would sneak these into any course I could figure out even a slight connection with. Some of the students really got it! Yes....
"Despair, when not a response to absolute physical and moral defeat, is, like war, a failure of the imagination." (a.r.)
Adrienne - you imagined (and fought for) a better world for all of us - your words will always be my guide. Be at peace now - we will carry on..
My condolences to her family and close friends - I am so very sorry for your loss. She will never be forgotten, left so much of herself, if you look you can find her images everywhere...
Adrienne Rich was a towering giant. Her words made me the strong, outspoken feminist I am today! Thank you, my grand heroine, forever and ever!
Adrienne Rich was a courageous and talented woman who helped give me (and I'm sure many many other women) the courage to be myself. I cannot count the times I have quoted or referred to her poetry. Thank you, Adrienne, for your legacy of strong and beautiful work that will live on as testimony to women's lives.
So sorry for your loss. Her poetic voice will be missed. A legacy of strength and inspiration she leaves for us. May she rest in peace.
Adrienne Rich, was a light to many in the historical sense of justice and observation. She was a poet first,however, and as poet, like all artists their work is about communication. Her words distilled and exposed much of the contentions of a women's authentic "soul".
Poetry has the uncanny ability to see into the values of the era in which the Poet lived. But Adrienne Rich
had the genius to not only comment but transcend to the common face of human beings, where gender dissolves into the the more powerful "Truth".
It was a painful life, but took all in...One of her greatest poems was "The Door" Here is wisdom and truth, all in a few words.
Thank you poet Rich for your, life and your shared gifts....we know an artists life is not easy and worth every struggle and effort to herself and community.
As I recorded my first song, I was unaware that day of the death of Adrienne Rich. My song was about women's issues, and I credit her work and the work of many such women in giving me the resources for my education as a self-taught women's historian. Thank you for your 'Rich' body of work and art that will live on in all of us. You lived up to your name and give new definition to the word 'Rich'. Peace be with you and your loved ones--
I celebrate you, Adrienne Rich. Your language showed me the way to my own power and gave me company with others. My sympathy to your loved ones and my thanks to you.
Adrienne Rich, beautiful, courageous and fearless woman, rest in peace. Your poems swept me away from this cruel and unjust world we live in and carried me away to far away lands. Your books on women and womanhood taught me who I am and what I stand for. You opened my eyes. I am so sorry that I will not be able to attend your funeral, because I live in Ankara, Turkey. May your path in eternity be filled with bright light. I will miss you although I never met you. Farewell.
What strength her poetry, prose, and lightning-raw example gave and gives us. In deep gratitude for her presence and uncanny directness on all that matters, I send deepest condolences to Michelle, to all of us who shoulder this shared loss together.
Her ferocious language speaks to our sense of self and renews our human links,our connections beyond tribe and place; A sad loss for us all
My condolences to Adrienne Rich's partner Michelle, her friends & family and those who were close to her. I only knew Adrienne through her poems and essays, by which I still count myself blessed. Her words were hammered out by fierce intellect on the anvil of justice. May they never be forgotten. Thank you, Adrienne. May you rest in peace.
My heart goes out to Michelle and Adrienne's family and close friends. I am hard pressed to find the words to describe what Adrienne meant to me personally, our community, the feminist movement, and the consciousness and conscience of a nation. I am deeply saddened but also humbled and grateful that by coincidence of fate and instigation of a mutual friend, I was introduced to Adrienne and Michelle. Adrienne will never be forgotten. “To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.” ? Pablo Neruda
Adrienne Rich… ¡Presente!
There are no words to express my deep feelings of grief and sense of loss in the wake of Adrienne Rich's passing. I offer my deepest condolences to her family and all those who knew and loved her. She has left us so much to learn from. I will always remember her for her fearless clarion call for justice-- for people of color, for women and for lesbians. In her articulation of the lives of lesbians she created the first art and literature of lesbian life. Indeed, she created life itself that has fed us and sustained us over many years through many battles. May she rest long in her yielding sleep. May her memory be blessed and her enlightened soul illuminate all those who digest her words--her greatest legacy. Her indomitable spirit lives on in a vast body of brilliant work that rings out for justice, dignity and a persistent embrace of human dignity. Sweet dreams dear friend. Sweet dreams.
I AM SO VERY, VERY, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.Death was never a part of gods original purpose for the earth.Death would come only if our first parents, ADAM and EVE disobeyed gods command not to eat fruit from a certain tree.
My deepest sympathies to the Rich family. May all focus on her legacy and the wonderful memories she made so easily because of her socially conscious spirit. May our loving heavenly father wrap each of you up in his arms by means of comfort and the ability to cope with the tragic loss Adrienne.
Written Poetry is
and very much
from young to old
to read and laugh
ADRIENNE RICH ~rip~
In my Women's Studies classes, Adrienne Rich's essays and books never failed to inspire and challenge us all--teacher and students alike. And her poems--in their clarity, their erudition, their political testimony, their grace--will continue to give us sustenance. As a Baltimore feminist, I'm so proud to know that she came from here, and that she never stopped fighting for social justice. My condolences to the family and to her partner, Michelle Cliff.
Another bright light gone out in this engulfing totalitarian darkness. Her voice will be sorely missed!
May Jehovah comfort you all during this time of deep sorrow.
My prayers are for Adrienne Rich family and friends during this sad time. May God through your prayer be with you all at this bereaved time.
Adrienne was my friend and colleague at Douglass College in the heyday of the women's movement in the seventies. We often traveled to Douglass together, and I am honored to have worked so closely with her. I taught her poetry for decades in women's studies courses, and will continue to do so. Her presence and energy in the early seventies was central to our feminist lives in NY, and we were forever galvanized by her words and her thoughts. May her family and friends be comforted in this time of sorrow, and know that she is indelibly engraved in our hearts and our thoughts. I am greatly saddened by this loss, but always so grateful that she lived in our time and illuminated our spirits with her insightful words power. Gloria Orenstein, Los Angeles, CA.
Truly a gentle soul, with a gift of honesty and perception.
Adrienne Rich. My mentor of letters. My friend during those most emergent years of my life. A deep heart break...opening to remember her; how much her words meant to me when I needed them the most, as a young woman, a young lover of women. Two lines come to me and continue to recur: "Every woman's death diminishes me." And... "I believe I am choosing something now/not to suffer uselessly." There were thousands of others. She mattered a great deal to so many of us, women of color, queer women writing today. I will miss her embodied presence on this planet. Michelle, I send you every blessing and much love in this moment of such profound transition for the both of you.
...so sorry we have to say goodbye... ...thank you for your beautiful and critical works - they formed a bedrock, and will remain as all forces that shape our world... ...rest in peace..................
News of Adrienne's death made me very sad. Michelle, my deep condolences. Karen Hagberg, Rochester, New York
I heard her speak at FSU in the 1970's as a Women's Studies student. Very powerful and a wonderful foundation for those of us who followed.
I will always remember the first time I read 'The Lioness' the truth and beauty of your words; the perfect union of spirit and intellect. Thank you Adrienne for the gift of your self- the world will always be a better place for you having been in it. Condolences to family and friends.
You did not have to be an English major to know Rich was an amazingly powerful poet. She was a treasure. My heartfelt sympathy to your loved ones.
Your example of speaking truth fully and without fear is a great gift to the world. I will hold your image in my mind when I am hesitant or afraid to speak up. Thank you, Adrienne.
Your beautiful, courageous and honest poetry resonated in my soul as a young woman, and I knew it was truth. From you, I learned the incredible power and obligation of language as a transformative force. I am grateful for the gift of your words -- they will remain with me forever. May you now rest in blessed peace.
Deep sympathy to Adrienne Rich's family and friends. She was a gifted poet and I have enjoyed "teaching" her poetry to my fifth and sixth year English students here in Ireland.I will continue to do so for many years to come. Thank you for the beautiful, powerful words !
To the family of Adrienne Rich, I am sorry for your loss. In a world full of injustices its good to know that there are some who are willing to stand up for justice. May the God of all comfort give you the strength you need to cope during this time.
Adrienne, a personal hero...speaker for those with no voice heard--from the poet in a dark corner, the oppressed worker, the sex slave, those disenfranchised from themselves...Thank you.
We will bear this 'wild patience' and move forward with you in our hearts.
Peace to you and your family,
Jaime Malzman (Boston, MA)
Rest in Peace. Adrienne Rich spoke truth and shaped how I looked at the world.
Adrienne wrote me after I reviewed Diving INto the Wreck in a pretty obscure feminist monthly newspaper. We struck up a passing correspondence. She was an incredible person, full of love for those she didn't know and those she knew intimately, and I felt the force of her care. I admired her greatly and learned from her work more than I could ever say. She sustained me from on far. Christine Stansell, Professor of HIstory, University of Chicago
My deepest sympathy to the Rich family. Ms. Rich worked hard to fight discrimination in behalf of women. Many opportunities for women were gained by her determination. She looked forward to the time when not just women but the human race experienced the same priveleges. Very soon this hope will be a reality. Job 34:19.
Peggy Chinn, JoAnn Ashley, Marge Stanton and Gert Torres introduced our grad nursing class to Adrienne Rich in 1977 at Wright State U in Dayton. The experience was life changing, especially the influence Of Woman Born. Her words live on. Sympathy is with you.
You just entered into my life and already I have to let you go...
I am extremely saddened to hear of this tremendous loss. Adrienne Rich was one of my professors at Stanford in the late 1980's and I became a feminist studies major largely because of her. Her words have continued to inspire me and so many others and will continue to do so, but I feel a great emptiness upon hearing this news. I offer my sincere sympathies to her friends and family and my thanks to Adrienne for the powerful gifts that she gave all of us.
Your poems spoke so clearly to me, it was as if I knew you personally. Thank you for leaving us the legacy of your powerful words.
There are rare moments when you get to meet someone, admire them and never forget them. It was 1982 in San Bernardino when I met Adrienne and listed to her reading her poetry and talk of her life. I was a grad student at CSUSB of English and she inspired me to feel more and share more. Thank you. I now teach in a local college and her books purchased that night are still in a honored place. I even got her to sign one of her Essays about women. Peace from Anne Andrews
Adrienne Rich - you bestowed the wealth of your writing to all of us and I am forever grateful. You were one of the faces of feminism and I followed the brave example you set. Thank you for being so stalwart. Samantha Claar - Savannah, GA
The feminist thought class I taught tonight learned this sad news together after having read aloud, collectively, her "Women and Honor" and having discussed her "Taking Women Students Seriously," which they agreed seemed as if it had been written yesterday. We were stunned to get the news, and fell silent. Two students read aloud some of her poems before we departed. I was tearful, for her work changed my life. Deep condolences to her family and her countless feminist sisters.
I discovered Adrienne Rich's work as a young woman, and it changed my life for the better, forever. She was such an inspiration. My deepest condolences to her family for your loss. This is a loss shared by the world.
Heartfelt gratitude to Adrienne Rich for raising my feminist consciousness in the 1970s. Heartfelt condolences to her family.
Her words have captured so much for me -- for the past 20 years. I'll miss her but am comforted still by the books, and the words.
TO THE FAMILY OF ADRIENNE RICH,I EXPRESS MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY AT THIS VERY DIFFICULT AND PAINFUL TIME,PLEASE FIND COMFORT AT DANIEL 12;2,3.AW.HOUSTON,TX.
Circle of life
Christ of Angels
sing with spoken
words of wisdom
upon a new light of life~
She'll never be replaced, for sure! The world can't afford such loss!
I can't possibly express how much Adrienne Rich's life & poetry have meant to me over the last 30 years or so. We still need her; we need her more than ever.