Cover image for Fox : poems, 1998-2000
Fox : poems, 1998-2000
Rich, Adrienne, 1929-2012.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2001]

Physical Description:
x, 64 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3535.I233 F69 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3535.I233 F69 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In this new volume, Adrienne Rich pursues her signature themes and takes them further: the discourse between poetry and history, interlocutions within and across gender, dialogues between poets and visual artists, human damages and dignity, and the persistence of utopian visions. Here Rich continues taking the temperature of mind and body in her time in an intimate and yet commanding voice that resonates long after an initial reading. With two long exploratory poems ("Veteran's Day" and "Terza Rima") as framework, and the title poem as core, Fox is formidable and moving, fierce and passionate, and one of Rich's most powerful works to date.

Author Notes

Adrienne Cecile Rich was born in Baltimore, Maryland on May 16, 1929. In 1951 she graduated from Radcliffe College and was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize by W.H. Auden. She began teaching for City College of New York in 1968, and was also a lecturer and adjunct professor at Swarthmore College and Columbia University School of the Arts. She taught in CUNY's basic writing program during the early 1970s.

In the 1970s, she started to be active in the women's liberation movement. Her work has been characterized as confrontational, treating women's role in society, racism, and the Vietnam War. In addition to many collections of poetry, she has also written several books of nonfiction prose, such as Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, and Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. Her last poetry collection was entitled Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010.

She has won numerous literary awards, including the 1986 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 1992 Poets' Prize, the 1997 Wallace Stevens Award of the Academy of American Poets, the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and the 2006 National Book Foundation Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She has also received the Bollingen Prize, the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

In 1974, she refused to receive as an individual the National Book Award for Poetry, instead accepting it on behalf of all silenced women. She also refused the National Medal of Arts in 1997, stating that "I could not accept such an award from President Clinton or this White House because the very meaning of art, as I understand it, is incompatible with the cynical politics of this administration." In 2012, she won the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Poetry Prize. She died from long-term rheumatoid arthritis on March 27, 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Rich marks the end of the twentieth century with a collection of poems strung as tightly as violin strings, their melodies haunting and edgy, beautiful in their glinting intensity and dark vitality. In her poems, each body, each soul, is a universe, and the connections between mother and child, friends, lovers, even enemies, are tenuous and fragile. So are art and poetry, "awful bridge rising over naked air"; they are precious but stand still and almost muted against the clamor of history, the bossiness of science. Whether she's writing about war in the long, provocative poem "Veterans Day," or our deeply suppressed animal selves in the title poem, or the violence witnessed by a woman with child in "Second Sight," Rich gives voice to the most inchoate and fundamental of feelings. Compassionate and unflinching, careful with words as though each were a family heirloom or someone's last dime, Rich forges poems as strong and elegant as wrought-iron railings that keep us from the abyss. Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

The justly celebrated Rich (Diving into the Wreck, The Fact of a Doorframe, etc.) has been publishing verse now for over 50 years; her oeuvre has included 1950s formalism, some of the subtlest protest verse of the 1960s and broadly successful volumes in verse and prose that helped set the agenda for 1970s feminism and gay and lesbian liberation. Rich's recent style developed slowly throughout the 1990s comes to full fruition here, conveying her familiar attentions to social injustice and intense introspection with and a sometimes harsh, fragmented, versatile line whose sources include George Oppen and Anglo-Saxon accentual verse. Rich praises, commemorates and questions friends and public figures, while thinking about what political action means; lines and stanzas glide over West Coast landscape, revive or revise history, and interrogate the poet's frustration with a profligate, unjust society. "On the bare slope where we were driven," Rich insists in "Messages," "The most personal feelings became historical." One of several powerful poems for, to and about unnamed friends or mentors offers "A lighthouse keeper's ethics:/ you tend for all or none/ for this you might set your furniture on fire." With her emotional complexity, her scratched-up sonic surfaces and her strong ethical commitments, Rich has long wanted to set her readers' minds blazing: more often than not, in her new work, she succeeds. (Oct.) Forecast: Rich continues to combine a large popular following with large-scale academic attention and high-brow acclaim, on a scale almost no other poet can manage. Stronger in itself than her 1998 Midnight Salvage, this volume should get more help from Rich's recent collection of essays and interviews, Arts of the Possible. Rich's first book, A Change of World, made her the Yale Younger Poet for 1951; that book's 50th anniversary may further boost media coverage. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

One of a handful of major American poets whose every new work is a cause for excitement, Rich is as stunning in her use of skewed, penetrating language as she is implacable in her politics of liberation. Art and conviction have always mixed well in her work a real accomplishment and they continue to do so here. But her arguments are perhaps less edgy, her tone a little more malleable than in previous collections. As she declares in "Regardless," a poem about loving a man, "we'd love/ regardless of manifestoes I wrote or signed." Still, this is vigorous, engaged poetry, as exemplified by "Victory," which compares the ailing Tory Dent to "the Nike of Samothrace/ on a staircase wings in blazing/ backdraft," and the spare "Veteran's Day," which mourns humankind's violent history while observing "how the beneficiary/ of atrocities yearns toward innocence." And then there's the title poem, a telescoped look at the female identity that is at once witty and searing. Neither a departure nor a radical advancement, this is instead another lovely augmentation adding immeasurably to Rich's panoply of works. Highly recommended. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Victoryp. 3
Veterans Dayp. 9
For Thisp. 16
Regardlessp. 18
Signaturesp. 20
Nora's Gazep. 21
Architectp. 23
Foxp. 25
Messagesp. 26
Firep. 27
Twilightp. 29
Octobrishp. 31
Second Sightp. 32
Gratingp. 34
Noctilucent Cloudsp. 37
If Your Name Is on the Listp. 39
1999p. 40
Terza Rimap. 41
Four Short Poemsp. 54
Rauschenberg's Bedp. 58
Waiting for You at the Mystery Spotp. 59
Ends of the Earthp. 61
Notesp. 63