Who Said It Was Simple

I’m a bit behind on the blogging and probably won’t catch up until next week. But I just stumbled upon this brilliant poem by Audre Lorde, one of the few by her that I haven’t read before. It reminded me of the recent conflicts that I’ve witnessed between certain white feminist bloggers and women of color (also feminist) bloggers, especially the drama that was playing out at blac(k)ademic. This poem seems a good response to said white feminists.

Who Said It Was Simple
Audre Lorde

There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter
before they bear.
Sitting in Nedicks
the women rally before they march
discussing the problematic girls
they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes
a waiting brother to serve them first
and the ladies neither notice nor reject
the slighter pleasures of their slavery.
But I who am bound by my mirror
as well as my bed
see causes in color
as well as sex

and sit here wondering
which me will survive
all these liberations.

5 Responses to “Who Said It Was Simple”

  1. 1 kactus

    Nice, especially the last three lines: “and sit here wondering
    which me will survive
    all these liberations.”

  2. 2 piny

    So I was talking to a friend the other day about different philosophical approaches to civil rights. One of the perspectives common to the people I really respect–the late, lamented Audre Lorde being one of them–is a sincere love of and desire to protect people as the people they are. What I loved most about her was her integrity, the sense that her life was something to be understood rather than overcome.

    If that made any sense.

  3. 3 belledame222

    It does. I think it’s a bit in line with Orwell’s notion that humanists aren’t failed saints; they’re differently orientated.

    or, better to be whole than perfect.

    something like that.

  4. 4 emily

    great poem, thanks!

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