Adrienne Rich's 21 Love Poems: an analysis on three of the poems in the series.

Essay by FINITOUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, May 2008

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In "Twenty-One Love Poems" by Adrienne Rich, each poem helps us understand her life. We as the readers get a "sneak peak" at the struggles she faces due to an almost 'doomed' love affair she has with another woman. The settings of her poems take place in Manhattan which she refers to as the "island of Manhattan" many times. There is a transitioning from beginning to end of this short collection of poems. Rich begins her collection with a jolly almost exuberant tone of passion and romance she shares with her lover. In poem IV she states "I open the mail, drinking delicious coffee, delicious music, my body still both light and heavy with you" (10-12). The speaker here is having physical contact with her lover, juxtaposed to the later poems where the lover is only a memory. The solitude she finds herself in is seen in poem XVIII: "Close between grief and anger, a space opens where I am Adrienne alone.

And growing colder" (13-14). This is the exact point where we find out her sadness and loss she has experienced. I will focus on this side of the spectrum, Adrienne Rich's transition into solitude.

Poem XVIII starts off with rain in the city, and the speaker is at a red light at Riverside. It can be interpreted that the rain is in correlation with her sadness and/or tears as to finding herself at a stop in her life, which is in correlation with the red light she is currently waiting on. This assertion can be made by the lines that follow: "the more I live, the more I think/ two people together is a miracle" (3-4). She is clearly being judgmental about relationships in general based on her experiences in love. Two people together...