The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems, 1950-2001


A reissue of the classic Adrienne Rich selection, revised and expanded to cover the entirety of her career, with a new Introduction.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).

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The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems 1950-2001

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A reissue of the classic Adrienne Rich selection, revised and expanded to cover the entirety of her career, with a new Introduction.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).

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Nadine Gordimer
Adrienne Rich is the Blake of American letters.
New York Times Book Review
[H]er dialectic fire produces poems of transcendent beauty.
W. S. Merwin
Rich's poems,volume after volume,have been the makings of one of the authentic,unpredictable,urgent,essential voices of our time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393323955
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/18/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 416,273
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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 Award.

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Table of Contents

Storm Warnings 3
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers 4
Boundary 4
At a Bach Concert 5
Ideal Landscape 9
Living in Sin 9
The Snow Queen 10
Letter from the Land of Sinners 11
From Morning-Glory to Petersburg 15
The Knight 16
Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law 17
Antinous: The Diaries 21
Peeling Onions 22
The Roofwalker 23
Prospective Immigrants Please Note 24
Necessities of Life 29
In the Woods 31
The Trees 33
Like This Together 34
Night-Pieces: For a Child 36
"I Am in Danger - Sir -" 38
Mourning Picture 39
The Knot 40
Focus 41
Orion 45
In the Evening 46
The Demon Lover 47
Jerusalem 50
Night Watch 52
For a Russian Poet 53
Abnegation 55
Implosions 56
On Edges 57
Leaflets 58
The clouds are electric in this university 63
In Central Park we talked of our own cowardice 63
Did you think I was talking about my life? 64
Blacked-out on a wagon, part of my life cut out forever - 64
When they mow the fields, I see the world reformed 65
Last night you wrote on the wall: Revolution is poetry 65
The order of the small town on the riverbank 66
If these are letters, they will have to be misread 66
From here on, all of us will be living 67
A piece of thread ripped-out from a fierce design 67
November 1968 71
Study of History 72
Planetarium 73
The Burning of Paper Instead of Children 75
I Dream I'm the Death of Orpheus 78
Letters: March 1969 79
The Stelae 83
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning 84
from Shooting Script 85
Trying to Talk with a Man 93
When We Dead Awaken 94
From the Prison House 96
The Mirror in Which Two Are Seen as One 97
Dialogue 100
Diving into the Wreck 101
Song 104
The Ninth Symphony of Beethoven Understood at Last as a Sexual Message 105
Rape 105
Burning Oneself In 107
From a Survivor 108
August 109
The Prisoners 113
At the Jewish New Year 113
Dien Bien Phu 115
Re-forming the Crystal 116
White Night 118
From an Old House in America 119
The Fact of a Doorframe 131
Power 135
Hunger 136
Cartographies of Silence 138
Twenty-One Love Poems 143
A Woman Dead in Her Forties 154
Natural Resources 160
Integrity 171
For Memory 173
For Ethel Rosenberg 174
Grandmothers 179
The Spirit of Place 181
Frame 187
For the Record 193
Virginia 1906 194
For an Occupant 196
North American Time 197
Blue Rock 201
Look: this is January 203
Heart of cold 204
My mouth hovers 204
Dear Adrienne: I'm calling you up tonight 205
Dear Adrienne, I feel signified by pain 205
Night over the great and the little worlds 206
I came out of the hospital 206
Violence as purification 207
Lately in my dreams 207
You who think I find words for everything 208
The problem, unstated till now 208
The tobacco fields lie fallow 209
In a bald skull sits our friend 209
You know the Government must have pushed them 210
You: air-driven reft 210
The Tolstoyans 211
You who think I find words for everything 211
In a Classroom 215
The Novel 215
Children Playing Checkers at the Edge of the Forest 216
The Desert as Garden of Paradise 217
Delta 224
Dreamwood 224
Harpers Ferry 225
A dark woman, head bent 233
Here is a map of our country 235
Late summers, early autumns 236
Catch if you can your country's moment 237
(The dream-site) 239
He thought there would be a limit 239
On this earth, in this life 241
Soledad. = f. Solitude, loneliness 242
One night on Monterey Bay 243
(Dedications) 245
That Mouth 247
Marghanita 247
Tattered Kaddish 249
Final Notations 250
What Kind of Times Are These 253
In Those Years 253
Calle Vision 254
Then or Now 261
Food Packages: 1947 261
Innocence: 1945 261
Sunset, December, 1993 262
Deportations 263
And Now 264
Late Ghazal 264
comrade 265
movement 266
history 267
edgelit 268
For an Anniversary 275
Midnight Salvage 275
Char 280
Letters to a Young Poet 282
Camino Real 286
Seven Skins 288
Rusted Legacy 292
Veterans Day 297
Architeet 302
Fox 303
Fire 304
Noctilucent Clouds 305
If Your Name Is on the List 306
1999 307
(Driving home from Robin Blaser's reading) 308
We're not yet out of the everglades 308
Beethoven's "Appassionata" played 309
From the new crudities, from the old 309
Ends of the Earth 310
Notes 311
Index 319
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