Audre Lorde (18 Feb 1934-17 November 1992) was an American writer, feminist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia.
by Audre Lorde
Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips rigid as mountains spread over a valley carved out by the mouth of rain.
And I knew when I entered her I was high wind in her forests hollow fingers whispering sound honey flowed from the split cup impaled on a lance of tongues on the tips of her breasts on her navel and my breath howling into her entrances through lungs of pain.
Greedy as herring-gulls or a child I swing out over the earth over and over again.
“This poem was published in 1975 and was included in her book The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. Lorde is a famous poet and is especially known for her works in feminism and how it relates with race and sexuality. She openly describes herself as a black feminist lesbian poet. Much like Alice Walker, Lorde’s criticism of 1960’s feminism, which catered primarily to white women while ignoring other privileges, led to the concept of womanism for black female scholars. Her work in understanding the influence in various identities helped ground our current understanding of intersectionality, which can be seen in her poetry.”
“Love Poem is a brazenly honest (and beautiful) depiction of how Lorde sees her love life with women. Her description of the female body in relation to nature is a common metaphor, but it’s often used in celebration of their bodies or their sisters’ bodies in black feminism, not in application to female lovers or how they “bless [her] with what is richest.” Instead of discussing herself, she focuses the beauty of female bodies on her partners. This perspective of her race and sexuality can be seen in many of other poems, including Who Said It Was Simple where she notes, “But I who am bound by my mirror / as well as my bed / see causes in colour / as well as sex.” Just like June Jordan, sexuality, race, and gender are all important in Audre Lorde’s perspective on identity.”
With thanks to Elizabeth Noelle Foster psu-edu Foster Archive
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