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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
I sat in a cushy green chair at Barnes and Noble reading these poems by Adrienne Rich and something unexplainable - almost impossible to put words to - happened to me.

I connected deeply to her messages, the words she wrote when I was a teen, might as well have been written right in the here and now. A lone tear slid down my face as I read about a woman in her 40's, like me, who was dying, not like me, who had a friend, like me, who wasn't sure how to support her in her time of need, universal.

I have experienced a lot of loss this year. The poetry of Adrienne Rich reached into my heart and let me express it more.

Isn't that what good poetry is supposed to be? A catalyst to awakening, cathartic, enriching?

Rich writes of power, female power.

She writes a poem about Paula Becker and Clara Westhoff (bride to Rainer Rilke, another favorite poet of mine.)

My favorite is "Transcendent Etude" which is, indeed, transcendent.

"No one ever told us we had to study our lives, make our lives a study..."

Study these poems and dive deeper into your life. You will not regret it.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 1997
Adrienne Rich is a poet for everyone - especially those who say they don't like poetry - and the Dream of a Common Language is her most fascinating and accessible collection to date. Think poetry is boring, pretentious or hackneyed? Open up to "Love Poems" and find 32 sultry and pain-stakingly honest celebrations of lesbian love and urban survival. Rich has recently been receiving the wide recognition she deserves, and she will perhaps be the one to convince Americans to open their poetry books again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
I heard about this when I was reading another book - it mentioned it, then I went on amazon and saw all the wonderful reviews and I thought, why not?
I'll tell you I am not a poetry person by nature but this collection of poems in amazing.
There is one about a woman with breast cancer that I must have read 10 times over it's just gut wretching, stabs you right in the heart.
Even if you normally wouldn't pick up poetry - try this. You won't be disappointed. There really are no words that I can think of besides amazing to describe it.
I was impressed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2007
Years ago I was trying to keep warm at an MBTA bus stop where I read the opening lines of "The Dream of a Common Language" on a poster that advertised a reading and discussion by the author at Brandeis. I was moved to tears. I didn't get to Brandeis, but I bought and still cherish the book.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 1997
In The Dream of a Common Language, the poetry of Adrienne Rich reaches a realm of pure beauty. Rich cuts away the verbal excesses sometimes found in her other works and leaves the vibrant words to stand alone in their powerful simplicity. The reader finds herself emerged in the common language of love, pain, hope, and longing. Only when the final poem has been read, is she able to emerge, gasping, and view the world through vision forever altered by having seen through the eyes of Adrienne Rich
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2009
Rich, textured, honest, hard, open, The Dream of a Common Language is poetry at its most accomplished. Adrienne Rich appears to tap into the very deepest core of the human psyche here, creating a range of poems about love and loss which have a vast reach of expression and depth. For the fan of contemporary poetry, this is a collection which must be read and re-read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2013
Perhaps this writer's style is just not for me. I had expected more, but was disappointed. I would suggest potential buyers read a number of her works before considering this purchase.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I had not read this poet's work. I bought this particular collection because it was highly recommended in the books by artist/author/poet Tee Corinne in `Courting Pleasure', `The Body of Love' and `Dreams of the Woman Who loved Sex' - she particularly noted `The Floating Poem, Unnumbered' from the selection "Twenty-One Love Poems".

I figured it was a not to be missed book and so it is.

The only thing missing from this slender volume, that I find is often illuminating, is an introduction or afterward from the author.

From the publisher's website - One of our country's most distinguished poets, Adrienne Rich was born in Baltimore in l929. Over the last forty years she has published more than sixteen volumes of poetry and four books of nonfiction prose. Rich's work has achieved international recognition and has been translated into German, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Hebrew, Greek, Italian, and Japanese. She has received numerous awards, fellowships, and prizes, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lenore Marshall/Nation Prize for Poetry, the Fund for Human Dignity Award of the National Gay Task Force, the Lambda Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, the National Book Award, the Poet's Prize, the MacArthur Fellowship, and, most recently, the Dorothea Tanning Prize of the Academy of American Poets and the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award (2000). Since l984 she has lived in California.

"Rich's poems do not demand the willing suspension of disbelief. They demand belief, and it is a measure of her success as a poet that most of the time they get it. . . . The affirmation and the occasional moments of pure joy in these poems are quiet but fully earned."--Margaret Atwood, New York Times Book Review

"Adrienne Rich's new poems are important because they come so close to achieving the dream they're all at least partly about. The Dream of a Common Language explores the contours of a woman's heart and mind in language for everybody--language whose plainness, laughter, questions and nobility everyone can respond to. . . . No one is writing better or more needed verse than this."--Boston Evening Globe
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
I gave it to my niece for Christmas. Wonderful images in her poetry.
I recommend it if you love poetry.
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on January 13, 2015
It would be difficult for any woman not to identify with this poetry. Just beautiful poetry that speaks to the soul. Nothing about this collection feels contrived.
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