In her poem, "The Phenomenology.." ( Found in "Diving Into The Wreck" )
at part 9, Adrienne Rich quotes :
"The only real love I have ever felt was for children and other Women.
Everything else was lust, pitty, self-hatred, pitty, lust."
I wanted to know whether this is a genuine quote, and if so, who said it?
Why do you say it is a quote? This Guardian link seems to indicate she said it herself:
I simply thought this is a qoute since I own the book, and in it, the lines are quoted.
This is the paragraph :
"The only real love I have ever felt was for chidren and other Women.
Everything else was lust, pitty, self-hatred, lust, pitty."
This is a Woman's confession.
Now, look again at the face of Botticelli's Venus, Kali,
The Judith of Chartres with her so-called smile.
Do you think the confession is hers?
I figured that this was simply a person's quote
and not herself speaking....Perhaps I figured wrong. Any ideas?
Is she speaking directly to the reader here, and then commenting on her own confession?
I think that the phrase is in quotes to show that it's spoken by 'the Woman', not by the speaker in the poem.
I think you might be right,
It's just that I know she uses quotes by other people in some of her other poems so I wondered whether
this is the case here - if this is a quote made by a certain person.
But I guess it isn't.
As for her intentions in this specific poem, I think it can be seen in any number of ways...Maybe a Woman,
,maybe a more certain Woman, quite possible even herself...It's just in the way you understand.
I agree.... it could a quote from herself or someone she knows or someone she imagines...
You could ask her. Read up on her on the website of her agency (links to thinks like her letter refusing the National Medal for the Arts) at:
Then click on CONTACT US and send an email c/o the agency. WORST CASE, you'll never hear back.
If you want to poke around a bit on line so you can say, "The essays I've read about this poem don't answer my question," do a net search for ["adrienne rich" + phenomenology + criticism].
NOTE: If you try that, do not be dismayed at title that says "1951 to 1999". Those are NOT the dates of her life! 1951 is the date of her first PUBLISHED work and 1999 is the end date for that study, not the poet.
Thanx a lot,
I never knew there was a website...