Adrienne Rich, Male Female Relationships

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‘Adrienne Rich’s poetry shows us relationships between men and women in all their glory and despair.’ 4

With reference to the above, discuss whether Rich’s poetry appealed to you. 4

‘Adrienne Rich’s poetry shows us relationships between men and women in all their glory and despair.’

With reference to the above, discuss whether Rich’s poetry appealed to you.

Adrienne Rich was the leaving cert poet whose work most appealed to me. There were several reasons for this. For me, the most important aspect of Rich’s work was her depiction of relationships in a manner that seemed very realistic. Her poems account for the fact that love so often goes wrong, yet they also offer hope that the anguish of a failed relationship can be overcome. I also enjoyed the feminist aspect of Rich’s work. Her depiction of women being dominated by men is as relevant today as it was when Rich first presented it.

In my opinion, too many poems and pop songs present an idealistic or overly romantic view of love. Rich, however, does not. She is fully aware that relationships don’t work out the way we want them to. As she portrays in ‘From a Survivor’, every couple believes they are ‘special’: ‘Like everybody else we thought of ourselves as special’. Yet no couple is immune to the ‘failure of the race’. Every relationship will experience turbulence and difficulty.

In ‘The Roofwalker’ for instance, the speaker invests a great deal of time and energy in a relationship only to realise ...

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