Adrienne Rich Comparing And Contrasting Poems Essay

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Adrienne Rich Comparing And Contrasting Poems Essay, Research Paper ****** ****** April 29, 1998 Adrienne Rich Comparing and Contrasting Poems. “From where does your strength come, you southern jew/ split at the root, raised in a castle of air”. This is a quote from Adrienne Rich’s 1982 essay, “Sources”. Adrienne Rich is a southern jew who grew up in the forties. As she grew up, her father hid the fact that they were Jewish. Her father acted like he was fully assimilated and didn’t show ethnicity in any way. He did this to fit into society that was against Jewish people. This quote reflects one of many themes Rich deals with in her poetry. The theme is racism, hate, and bigotry. In many of Rich’s works she talks about being oppressed. In the poems, “1948:

Jews”, “Two Arts”, and “A Vision” there is a theme of oppression. In the poem ” 1948: Jews”, Rich refers to her college years. At her college, she was to stay away from Jews. No matter how brilliant a person was, she couldn’t unite with them as a group because socially it was less acceptable. She couldn’t let herself get attached, she had to avoid her own ethnicity to survive in American culture. “Never mind just going to sleep like an ordinary person” Rich says about the situation in the end of the poem. An ordinary person; this portrays the feeling she had about the great discrimination that was going on at the time. Rich didn’t feel like an ordinary person. She felt hate from society due to her background. This poem differs from Rich’s other works in

many ways. I found that most of Adrienne Rich’s poetry was very hard to understand. I found threw reading Rich’s poetry, she sometimes left the reader room to make his/ her own conclusions about the meaning. In this poem, Rich was very clear to the point. At her college, there was great racial tension and she felt she could not be herself there. I found, that I personally can feel the poem better, if I can really grasp the meaning. As opposed to left to wonder and draw my own conclusions. Another great poem by Adrienne Rich was ” Two Arts”. One theme in the poem, similar to “1948: Jews” is racism , hate, and being a southern Jew in the forties. In the poem, Rich talks about sculpting a perfect person free of any limiting factor, such as race or gender. This creation

is great art. She talks about presenting this perfect person or work of art to the art instructor. I thought this represented her presenting her person to the public. It was socially acceptable and it was a piece of art. “This time they will love you, standing on the glass table, fluent and robed at last, and all your origins countered” Rich says. In this quote, Rich describes putting all your origins behind and being on a glass table for every one to see. You are robed and ready for life. You have been molded into the ideal person. This is another example of the theme of racism that Rich brings up in her poetry. This is also a poem in which Rich wrote it to give you a definite idea. She doesn’t really give the reader much room to negotiate what the meaning of the poem is.

I like reading poems that are more literal, to me they have more value. This poem differs from the others in many ways. This poem is more like a fantasy of what it would be like to be perfect. This almost seems like a childhood dream; to be someone your not. The poem “1948: Jews” is more factual. This type of poem are based on real life experience and therefor I feel they are of more value (RicH3 53) “A Vision” is another poem written by Adrienne Rich that discusses the issue of racism This poem is in memory of Simone Weil. Weil was a French, political activist, and social philosopher who was very influential in the early twentieth century. Her writings greatly effected French and English social thought. Later in Simone Weil’s career, she would be denied a teaching