i want to write poetry and lorde gives me the confidence to start

Historically, poetry has been feminized, a literary production that is especially undermined when women and women of color write it. Assigning poetry this certain ‘feminine’ reputation has made it difficult for those women who choose to only publish poetry, but mystically, some of the most famous poets in history are men (and often white men). Discussing poetry in class made me wonder, what is classified as poetry? Does it have to have a certain repetition and rhythm, does it have to rhyme? Lorde mentions in another essay that poetry is the easiest writing to produce, women working long hours can scribble poetry on note pads or in the margins of books, and it is used as a form of expressing deep emotion-a coping mechanism for survival. Lorde introduces a completely new concept and theory to poetry, and it shifts away from the traditional European mode. My favorite line is “The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free”. It’s this step towards teaching women of color that their emotions are valid, and that they can be proven easily by forming words and poetry that portray their experiences and what day to day realities forms them as women. There are so many international examples of poetry as resistance and survival, I think that currently my favorite example is the Pashtun woman’s “landay”.


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