By Adrienne Rich

Via a variety of poetic items, Adrienne wealthy explores during this assortment the intricacies of being white, lady, lesbian, Jewish, and a U.S. citizen, either at present of her existence and during the lens of her previous.

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Extra info for Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985

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Whether she actually found the form in which to house that passion—or whether she even possessed the craft and the intellect to express it—is difficult to determine. One problem, of course, is that Behn did not write a sufficient quantity of poetry beyond her plays and novels to allow for a reasonable judgment. Nevertheless, she never ceased trying to pour forth the pain and the love that dominated her emotions. She wrote (as in “’Tis not your saying that you love”) that actions, not words, must reinforce declarations of love, for only love itself can sustain life.

On the Death of the Late Earl of Rochester” Behn wrote elegies for Waller and Rochester, and both poems are well suited to their occasion; yet they are two distinctly different poems. “On the Death of the Late Earl of Rochester” (1685) is an appeal to the world to mourn the loss of a great and multifaceted personality: The muses must mourn the passing of a wit, youths must mourn the end of a “dear instructing rage” against foolishness, maidens the loss of a heaven-sent lover, the little gods of love the loss of a divine lover, and the unhappy world the passage of a great man.

Her creditors threatened prison, and the government ministers who had employed her refused any payment for espionage service rendered. Prison followed, most probably at Caronne House, South Lambeth, although again the specifics of time and length of term are lacking. Behn’s later biographers speculate that she may have been aided in her release by John Hoyle (died 1692)—a lawyer of Gray’s Inn, a wit, an intellectual, and bisexual, the principal subject and reason for Behn’s sonnets, and the man with whom the writer carried on a long romance.

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