I Feel, Therefore I Can Be Free: Tribute to Audre Lorde

I.“A self-described ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,’ Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia.”

Via http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/audre-lorde

II.“For each of us as women, there is a dark place within, where hidden and growing our true spirit rises, ‘beautiful/ and tough as chestnut/stanchions against (y)our nightmare of weakness/’ and of impotence.

These places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through that darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman’s place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.

When we view living in the European mode only as a problem to be solved, we rely solely upon our ideas to make us free, for these were what the white fathers told us were precious. But as we come more into touch with our own ancient, non-European consciousness of living as a situation to be experienced and interacted with, we learn more and more to cherish our feelings, and to respect those hidden sources of our power from where true knowledge and, therefore, lasting action comes.

The white fathers told us: I think, therefore I am. The Black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams: I feel, therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary demand, the implementation of that freedom.”

Audre Lorde, “Poetry Is Not a Luxury” in “Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches”

III. “Black Mother Woman” by Audre Lorde

I cannot recall you gentle.
Through your heavy love
I have become
an image of your once delicate flesh
split with deceitful longings.

When strangers come and compliment me
your aged spirit takes a bow
jingling with pride
but once you hid that secret
in the center of furies
hanging me
with deep breasts and wiry hair
with your own split flesh and long suffering eyes
buried in myths of no worth.

But I have peeled away your anger
down to its core of love
and look mother
I am
a dark temple where your true spirit rises
beautiful and tough as a chestnut
stanchion against your nightmares of weakness
and if my eyes conceal
a squadron of conflicting rebellions
I learned from you
to define myself
through your denials.

 Yaroslav Gerzhedovich, "Still Life"

Yaroslav Gerzhedovich, “Still Life”

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10 Responses to I Feel, Therefore I Can Be Free: Tribute to Audre Lorde

  1. I love this Monika; what a beautiful tribute to Audre Lorde. Here is my favorite poem of hers:


    Coal
    By Audre Lorde
    I
    Is the total black, being spoken
    From the earth’s inside.
    There are many kinds of open.
    How a diamond comes into a knot of flame
    How a sound comes into a word, coloured
    By who pays what for speaking.

    Some words are open
    Like a diamond on glass windows
    Singing out within the crash of passing sun
    Then there are words like stapled wagers
    In a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
    And come whatever wills all chances
    The stub remains
    An ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
    Some words live in my throat
    Breeding like adders. Others know sun
    Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
    To explode through my lips
    Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
    Some words
    Bedevil me.

    Love is a word another kind of open—
    As a diamond comes into a knot of flame
    I am black because I come from the earth’s inside
    Take my word for jewel in your open light.”

    • This is so beautiful. I am also bewitched by these lines from her poem “A Woman Speaks,” which I think you will appreciate as an astrologer: “and if you would know me look into the entrails of Uranus where the restless oceans pound.” I get this because both my Moon and Venus are aspected by Uranus.
      Thank you!

      • Oh yes! Thank you! “Moon marked and touched by sun, my magic is unwritten.” Must be my natal balsamic moon that is so with the feeling of old soul imprints leaving. I love this “entrails of Uranus,” too. Uranus and me: Aquarius rising, Uranus contacts (major aspects with wider orb allowances at the points of angularity) to Sun, Mercury, Saturn, MC, and nodes. Sheesh. I will savor these poems some more… 🙂

      • Guess what – My Taurus moon is balsamic, too.

      • Awesome, Monika! Mine is balsamic in Cancer. 🙂 Feeling relieved to know that your natal moon is also balsamic. Nice to connect!

  2. Reblogged this on Tania Marie's Blog and commented:
    Beautiful!

  3. Slartibartfast says:

    Monika thankyou for this post and all the wonderful images and sources you have gathered and shared during 2014.

    Myself and many friends in Australia I have shared your blog links with are in absolute awe of your depth of knowledge in the field of symbolism, self-awareness, and discovery.

    Partly thanks to you I purchased for myself as a Christmas gift the large hardcover reprint of Jung’s ‘Red Book’. I am excited about my own journey this coming year with this work and the other resources I have been absorbing.

    Many happy returns to you and the people close to your heart.
    S. (my name is not important)

  4. Pingback: I Feel, Therefore I Can Be Free: Tribute to Audre Lorde | lampmagician

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