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Carol Eustice

Adrienne Rich Dies From Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis

By March 31, 2012

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Adrienne Rich, famous poet, essayist, and feminist, died March 27, 2012 from complications of rheumatoid arthritis. Rich was 82 years old. She explored the evolution of feminism and the changing role of women in modern society during 60 years as a published poet. Her 20 books of poetry date back to 1951. She was well-known for her essays as well as her poems. Rich also taught at universities, including Cornell, Rutgers, and Stanford.

As I read about the passing of Adrienne Rich, two things caught my attention. First, I thought about how robust her life was, despite her disabling condition. Rather than silencing her, rheumatoid arthritis probably was among the challenges that fueled her passion to express herself. Secondly, I thought about the phrase "complications of rheumatoid arthritis". It is a disease that can be associated with many complications -- those related to the disease itself and those that come about as a consequence of treatment.

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