Audre Lorde Essay - Skipworth 1 Lacey Jo Skipworth Prof...

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Skipworth - 1 Lacey Jo Skipworth Prof. Patricia Barker Composition II March 26, 2018 Lorde’s Decree Poetry can be used for emotional organization and stress relief as much as it can be used as a tool of self empowerment and social activism. For Audre Lorde, her poetry allowed her to make her stances known on a variety of issues such as “racism, sexism, and homophobia in America (Kort)” which were each deeply important to her. Despite being a black lesbian growing up at a time when she faced so much hatred due to her identity, the poetry she wrote was proud and unapologetic of who she was as a person. Thanks to women like Lorde who stood up for themselves in the face of opposition, many young people now feel much more free to be who they are without the constant, suffocating fear of punishment from the government or other social institutions. Lorde’s poetry is a powerful message about who she was and what she was capable of and it still resonates with and empowers the youth of today who still struggle with some of the same issues that she dealt with in her time. The poem “A Woman Speaks” packs a particularly strong message about who Lorde is and what she stands for by comparing herself to powerful entities in a mystical fashion. It tells a moving story about how Lorde knows that she and her writing will be remembered long after she is gone from this world. Even the first line of the poem references the “moon” and the “sun” which regulate the passage of time and are often
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Skipworth - 2 used to symbolize power and greatness. She goes on to reference the fact that African history, which she symbolizes as “magic,” is passed down orally and is therefore “unwritten.” Even so, she makes it clear that history, symbolized by “the sea,” will remember her “shape,” which could be referring to her poems, speeches, or the entirety of the impact that she has left on the world as a whole. The beginning of Lorde’s poem “A Woman Speaks” uses symbolism to convey to the audience that she is a woman that should be listened to and heeded because she is a force of social change in the world. As mentioned before, Lorde was never ashamed to admit who she was, and often wrote in a rebelliously proud manner. This is showcased in the line “I seek no favor,” which is a phrase that demonstrates that she was very aware of her social standing and yet refused to be held down by it. Lorde could have written poems that were less divisive and dissenting to the norm of the time, but instead she wrote in a way that was revolutionary and unapologetic. She continues by saying that she not a naturally violent person by writing that she is “untouched by blood.” This goes against the racist stereotype that black women are more violent than white women. Lorde is trying to explain to the audience that they should view her as her own person and urges them to not see black women seeking equality as violent people, but as women who simply want to be treated fairly by their peers and the government. These lines are
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  • Spring '18
  • Michelle Menchaca
  • Poetry, White people, Dahomey, Dahomey Amazons

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