Adrienne Rich Essays On Love

Living in Sin by Adrienne Rich Essay

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In the poem “Living in Sin” written by Adrienne Rich, Adrienne begins the poem with the perception of having a perfect relationship in which everything great will majestically fall into place for her. She has the fantasy that there is no work and/or effort to be put forth into a perfect relationship when she soon realizes is false. “Living in Sin” tells the story of a young woman who is unhappy with her life as well as her husband because of the fact that she feels she is nothing but a maid rather than a beloved woman with the love and affection of a great husband. She continues to describe what a terrible life she has and makes many efforts of symbolism to express such. In the beginning of the poem, Adrienne begins with the…show more content…

It also seems like she doesn’t want to be that typical house-wife that any man would want her to be, like picking up around the house, washing the dishes, and tending to the animals. She explains that she has a plate of fruit, which many times is used for decoration. Also, she expresses a sense of pride when stating the piano is decorated with an expensive shawl. Additionally, she mentions having a cat, which in many cultures can be considered a pet of high class and can help one to keep company. Next, Rich begins using personification in her writing when she says, “Not that at five each separate stair would writhe under the milkman's tramp,” (9-10) leading one to believe that she is in agonizing pain. From this point in the poem I am beginning to notice her moods change quickly and drastically as she proceeds with the story within the poem. She continues with the line, “that morning light so coldly would delineate the scraps of last night's cheese and three sepulchral bottles,” (10-12) implying that the relationship is no longer good, just like last night’s scraps of cheese. I believe she uses the bottles to show the depressed drinking that had been going on in the household because of her thoughts and feelings toward the matter. At this point, one may begin noticing the lack of discussion

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In "Twenty-One Love Poems" by Adrienne Rich, each poem helps us understand her life. We as the readers get a "sneak peak" at the struggles she faces due to an almost 'doomed' love affair she has with another woman. The settings of her poems take place in Manhattan which she refers to as the "island of Manhattan" many times. There is a transitioning from beginning to end of this short collection of poems. Rich begins her collection with a jolly almost exuberant tone of passion and romance she shares with her lover. In poem IV she states "I open the mail, drinking delicious coffee, delicious music, my body still both light and heavy with you" (10-12). The speaker here is having physical contact with her lover, juxtaposed to the later poems where the lover is only a memory. The solitude she finds herself in is seen in poem XVIII: "Close between grief and anger, a space opens where I am Adrienne alone.

And growing colder" (13-14). This is the exact point where we find out her sadness and loss she has experienced. I will focus on this side of the spectrum, Adrienne Rich's transition into solitude.

Poem XVIII starts off with rain in the city, and the speaker is at a red light at Riverside. It can be interpreted that the rain is in correlation with her sadness and/or tears as to finding herself at a stop in her life, which is in correlation with the red light she is currently waiting on. This assertion can be made by the lines that follow: "the more I live, the more I think/ two people together is a miracle" (3-4). She is clearly being judgmental about relationships in general based on her experiences in love. Two people together...


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