Adrienne Rich

(16 May 1929 – 27 March 2012 / Baltimore, Maryland)

In Those Years



The text of this poem could not be published because of Copyright laws.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Adrienne Rich's Other Poems

  • Aunt Jennifer's Tigers
  • Diving Into the Wreck
  • A Valediction Forbidding Mourn
  • For the Dead
  • Burning Oneself Out
  • My Mouth Hovers Across Your Br
  • Living in Sin

Read poems about / on: fog, history, weather, people, lost, dark, life

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (In Those Years by Adrienne Rich )

Enter the verification code :

  • Suparna Banerjee (8/17/2008 12:41:00 PM)

    This poem by Rich invokes the loss of connection and cohesion experienced by the women's movement - and by women themselves - in the US of the 1980s, the neo-con 'backlash' times.

    It laments women's lack of involvement in the macro-politics of gender-relations and their oft-willed ignoring of the sexual-politics of their 'personal' lives. Rich deplores women's complacent ignoring of the patterns of inequity that replicate in the personal microcosm their practical and metaphysical subordination to men in the socia-political macrocosm of patriarchal states of all ages. This blithe indifference to the political in the personal amounts to culpable complicity on the part of women in their own oppression, Rich implies.

    By taking the achievements of the feminist movement for granted the eighties' woman forgets, and thereby, disrespects history: she forgets, that is, how our attitudes to the past reflects our present and shapes our future - she forgets she IS history. By calling her jaded attention afresh to the scream of the 'dark birds of history' that hover over the skies looking down on her little coutyard Rich makes her remember the old lesson once again: 'the personal is political'.

    Also, in its insistence on a movement back to a 'We' - together in suffering and resistance - from the limiting, claustrophobic 'I', struggling lone battles, the poem is a call to women's solidarity. One is reminded of the protagonist Offred's observation in Margaret Atwood's 1985 feminist dystopia, 'The Handmaid's Tale' - that there isn't a verb in English that is the feminine equivalent of 'fraternize'.

    Stylistically speaking, the compostion is a prose-poem - the poetic form that's the most used these days. The verses follow no strict metric scheme or 'meter', so that the measured ebb and flow of stressed and unstressed syllables are replaced by a freer rhythm closer to speech; accordingly, the line lengths are fixed not by the number of metrical 'feet' (there aren't any) but by the demands of the subtle rhythm.

    All in all, this is typical Addrienne Rich: cerebral yet suffused with the poignancy of the experiential, the imagery and the rhythm subtly evocative. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. My unjust God, Nalini Chaturvedi
  2. continue counting me, Mandolyn ...
  3. the tail of poet, ademola oluwabusayo
  4. the way of the world, ademola oluwabusayo
  5. HELPLESS, Soumita Sarkar Ray
  6. A piece of my ground, Soumita Sarkar Ray
  7. Tick Tock, Michael Mira
  8. Love Burns, Khairul Ahsan
  9. Whispers, Mihaela Pirjol
  10. For Your Family Pride, Are You Going To .., Bijay Kant Dubey

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

Of this worlds theatre in which we stay,
My love like the spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]