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by Adrienne Rich

Power Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What is the relationship between the first part of the poem and the second? How are they different? How are they similar? How does the second part build on the first?
  2. How do you interpret the big spaces between words that are all over the poem? Does that add meaning in any way?
  3. How does the poem define power? How would you define power? Did Marie Curie have it? Did Adrienne Rich?
  4. Do we have any access to the real-life Marie Curie in this poem? Or do we only get to know the speaker's imaginary version of her? 
  5. Is Marie Curie's gender important to the poem? Why or why not? Is there a connection between her power and the fact that she's a woman?

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