Adrienne Rich’s Homeschool Discovery of Her Values

Adrienne Rich was known for her bold words regarding oppression, women’s rights, and social injustice. She let her moral values shine through her work, demonstrating the strength and importance they held in her life. These values were clearly instilled in her very early on, provoking questions of how she learned them. A believable answer is that Adrienne Rich was homeschooled until fourth grade. This meant that many of her fundamental values came from her parents and her home environment, rather than from her peers and teachers. It has been proven that children learn most of their fundamental values throughout their early childhood, and the environment that they learn them in plays a huge role in the formation of said beliefs. Being homeschool until she was old enough to differentiate her own values from others, implies that the values that Rich carried with her throughout her life were most likely some that she learned at home when she was growing up. Being homeschooled meant that Rich was not influenced by her peers contrasting opinions, but rather the opposite as she learned to share the same views as her parents and her surrounding home environment. This also implies that her parent’s views on oppression, women’s rights, and social injustice were most likely as strong as her own, if not stronger. Rich went on to use the values that she developed at home to make her work meaningful and powerful. This further goes to show why Adrienne Rich felt comfortable breaking down boundaries and discussing controversial and sensitive topics in her works. While being homeschooled does not appear as fundamental in the creation of personal values for some, it is clear that because of Rich’s age throughout her time being homeschooled, the way she saw the world and the issues it contained were truly impacted. The impact that her homeschooling had on her writing is evident in many of her poems, including “North American Time”, “Translations”, and “Power”. All of these poems were works that I included in my research paper to demonstrate the incredible influence and confidence Rich had in her words.

Adrienne Rich was recorded reading both “North American Time” and “Power”, and I have included a reading of “Translations” as well, although it is not read by Rich.

“North American Time” Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi_N3UPAD5E

“Power” Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtX3sDbBqJg

“Translations” Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F8nl9KwUg4&t=10s

Biographical Source: http://english.fju.edu.tw/lctd/asp/authors/00140/introduction.htm

Image Source: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/elizabeth-bishop-and-alice-methfessel-one-art

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3 Responses to Adrienne Rich’s Homeschool Discovery of Her Values

  1. oliviaa1718 says:

    This is great Carrie; I love the way that you elaborated on the topic of homeschooling and how that affected her life. I think you went into good depth with that and it is clear to the reader. Maybe you want to elaborate more on the three poems you mentioned at the very end and how the topic of homeschooling influenced them? I also really like your inclusion of the videos at the end!

  2. This is a great post, Carrie! I really like how you organized your blog post. I also really enjoyed your thoughtful inclusion of a picture and videos. I think your topic of homeschooling and how it affected her life is very interesting and I really enjoyed reading about it. If you want, maybe you could talk more about how the homeschooling effected her thoughts that she put into her poetry or a specific poem or two she wrote and how that shaped her writing? Overall, great work!

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