In Of Woman Born, originally published in 1976, influential poet and feminist Adrienne Rich examines the patriarchic systems and political institutions that define motherhood. … Gilbert, Paris Review), Of Woman Born revolutionized how women thought about motherhood and their own liberation.
Motherhood as Experience and Institution.
“In order for all women to have real choices all along the line,” Adrienne Rich writes, “we need fully to understand the power and powerlessness embodied in motherhood in patriarchal culture.” Rich’s investigation, in this influential and landmark book, concerns both experience and institution. The experience is her own – as a woman, a poet, a feminist, and a mother – but it is an experience determined by the institution, imposed in its many variations on all women everywhere. She draws on personal materials, history, research, and literature to create a document of universal importance.