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What I know I know through making poems Passion Politics and the Body in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich Liz Yorke Nottingham Trent University EnglandThis paper is largely extracted from my book Adrienne Rich which is to be published by Sage in October this yearWhat I have tried to do for the paper is to track one thread explored by the book which I feel runs through the whole span of Richs thought a thread which links desire passion and the body - to politics to activism and to the writing of poetry Writing poetry above all involves a willingness to let the unconscious speak - a willingness to listen within for the whispers that tell of what we know even though what we know may be unacceptable to us and sometimes because we may not want to hear the whispers may be virtually inaudible But to write poetry is to listen and watch for significant images to make audible the inner whisperings to reach deeper inward for those subtle intuitions sensings images which can be released from the unconscious mind through the creativity of writing In this way a writer may come to know her deeper self below the surface of the words Poetry can be a means to access suppressed recognitions a way to explore difficult understandings which might otherwise be buffeted out of consciousness through the fear-laden processes of repression - through avoidance denial forgetting She identifies here the impulse to politics and protest as emerging from our unconsciousdesires a kind of knowing arising within the body which impels
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