A Poem for Adrienne

Another obituary


We were filled with the strong wine

of mutual struggle, one joined loud

and sonorous voice.  We carried

each other along revolting, chanting,

cursing, crafting, making all new.


First Muriel, then Audre and Flo,

now Adrienne.  I feel like a lone

pine remnant of virgin forest

when my peers have met the ax

and I weep ashes.


Yes, young voices are stirring now

the wind is rising, the sea boils

again, yet I feel age sucking

the marrow from my bones,

the loneliness of memory.


Their voices murmur in my inner

ear but never will I hear them

speak new words and no matter

how I cherish what they gave us

I want more, I still want more.


Copyright 2012 Marge Piercy

Photo of (left to right) Audre Lorde, Meridel Le Sueur and Adrienne Rich (who died March 27, at age 82) in 1980, from Wikimedia Commons


  1. leslieanne says:

    thank you, ms. piercy. you have been, and continue to be, a light. a light in a time when, no matter the beam, there is darkness lurking about about…
    i wish i could take your sadness, if only temporarily. sadness for the dead, for the living, and for those to come. we warrior women must remain. we must rise and rise and stand again and again.

    here is to you–and to her and her and her and her. these voices echo in my mind now…and i will continue to follow the sound.

  2. Dear Marge,
    As Adrienne Rich was a long-time member of the National Writers Union – as are you – may we use your poem as our obit in the national NWUsletter, please? It is so beautiful.

    Sue Katz
    editor, NWUsletter

  3. The beautiful photograph is from 1980 taken by Kathryn Kendall

  4. Yes, despite the new emerging voices, the towering poets Marge Piercy honors – Muriel, Audre, Flo, Adrienne – started a conversation that branched into millions more and their voices were at the root of each one, at the root of our growing up the way we have. Suddenly, some of us have started talking to ourselves, murmuring their words. In deep appreciation for all that you are were, and had done, and for those still continuing the conversations, Natalia Muñoz

  5. Beautiful. The losses are so big. Your voice, your new poem here, such a specific kind of grieving and gift, both.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ms. Piercy, for getting to the marrow of this and sharing your gift with us — even in this moment of deep sorrow. Blessings to you always and condolences on your the loss your dearest friend.

  7. I am with you Marge Piercy. Your poetry has been my friend since the 1970’s. We are all still in the sisterhood, an easier way now, although now it is like “Tribes” by Martha Coutot.

    “We meet in dying cities,..exchange directions…tips for keeping safe…we meet in temporary country homes, sing songs,exchange stones…and then we leave going in different directions”

  8. I mangled Martha’s last name. It is COURTOT

  9. The wanting more, and the willingness to speak the wanting more — in grief as well as in love and in meaningful work and in all that life’s abundance offers — that is the truest legacy you all have given us.

  10. A beautiful, wrenching piece. So honored to be teaching Rich’s poems next week and so happy to be able to include this new poem! As a bonus, the next week we start discussing Woman on the Edge of Time in another class. So honored and thankful to share such voices with undergrads!

  11. This is beautiful and sad. It reminds me of one of my favorites, Kenneth Rexroth’s “For Eli Jacobson.”

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