The Fact of a Doorframe

The Fact of a Doorframe : Poems 1950-2001

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The Fact of a Doorframe is the ideal introduction to Rich's opus, from her formative lyricism in A Change of Word (1951), to the groundbreaking poems of Diving into the Wreck (1973), to the searching voice of Fox (2001).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 140 x 206 x 26mm | 399.17g
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0393323951
  • 9780393323955
  • 67,918

Review quote

"Rich is the Blake of American letters." Nadine Gordimershow more

Review Text

This is a reissue of an earlier selection of poems with a new introduction by Adrienne Rich herself and a revised and larger collection of poems. The revision includes poems from the six additional books she has produced since the first edition of Selected Poems appeared in 1984, and also poems published in magazines and journals, some of which Rich describes as 'lost', poems she had herself forgotten. With a span of 50 years, the development of Rich's style and vision is clearly charted here as the reader moves through the simplicity of 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers' (1951), the timelessness of 'Dialogue' (1972), to the pain of 'Frame' (1980), and the primitive earthiness of 'Fox' (1998). In the poem 'The Fact of a Doorframe', Adrienne Rich describes poetry as being hewn into an 'archway, portal, frame' and it is this frame that has shaped her approach to poetry. 'My life has been enmeshed so long with poetry that I cannot, looking back at this collection of five decades, imagine how I would have survived without this doorframe. But it was first the poetry of others, in English - Blake, Keats, Longfellow, Robert Louis Stevenson, Swinburne, Oscar Wilde, the King James version of the Bible... that let me know the doorframe was there for me.' There are other voices in the doorframe too, songs sung at home round the piano, her parents' Southern lilt, speeches heard on the radio during the Second World War. An analysis of her poetry reveals a multi-layered strand of outside voices and influences that have been filtered through her thoughts to emerge on the page. A single phrase or even word will resonate down the years for those who can pick up the allusion. Adrienne Rich is a poet of considerable stature, the recipient of many awards including a Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and this book confirms those achievements. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Adrienne Rich

Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed, and widely taught, Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose. Her constellation of honors includes a National Book Award for poetry for Tonight, No Poetry Will Serve, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1994, and a National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for Diving Into the Wreck. That volume, published in 1973, is considered her masterwork. Ms. Rich's other volumes of poetry include The Dream of a Common Language, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, An Atlas of the Difficult World, The School Among the Ruins, and Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. Her prose includes the essay collections On Lies, Secrets, and Silence; Blood, Bread, and Poetry; an influential essay, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence," and the nonfiction book Of Woman Born, which examines the institution of motherhood as a socio-historic construct. In 2006, Rich was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation. In 2010, she was honored with The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition more