A Poem That Changed My Life

 I will let this Poem stand alone.

Audre Lorde showed me a woman I had not seen before;


This poem changed my life.

Audrey Geraldine Lorde

black feminist lesbian mother poet


February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992


“I feel have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and to share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigating pain.” Lorde was a prolific writer who continually explored the marginalizations experienced by individuals in a society.”

Audre Lorde *Modern American Poetry


Peace, Power and Poetry,



I am grateful to the

Academy of American Poets

for National Poetry Month


For Each of You

Audre Lorde

Be who you are and will be
learn to cherish
that boisterous Black Angel that drives you
up one day and down another
protecting the ploace where your power rises
running like hot blood
from the same sourse
as you pain.

When you are hungry
learn to eat
whatever sustains you
until morning
but do not misled by details
simply because you live them.

Do not let you head deny
your hands
any memory of what passes through them
not your eyes
nor your heart
everything can be used
except what is wasteful
(you will need
to remember this when you are accused of destruction.)
Even when they are dangerous examine the heart of those machines you hate
before you discard them
and never mourn the lack of their power
lest you be condemened
to relieve them.
If you do not learn to hate
you will never be lonely
to love easily
nor will you always be brave
although it does not grow any easier

Do not pretend to convenient beliefs
even when they are righteous
you will never be able to defend your city
while shouting.

Remember whatever pain you bring back
from your dreaming
but do not look for new gods
in the sea
nor in any part of a rainbow
Each time you love
love as deeply as if were
only nothing is

Speak proudly to your children
where ever you may find them
tell them
you are offspring of slaves
and your mother was
a princess
in darkness.

~ by Step On a Crack on May 1, 2012.

5 Responses to “A Poem That Changed My Life”

  1. BABY! Thanks for posting this … i washed the jeans that had my poem in the pocket!! 😉 Truly … i effed up, and lost this. IT IS MAGICAL. Love you, Mel


  2. Audre Lorde was really something!

    Now, it’s taken me a while to respond to this lovely award you gave ME, but — I am giving it back to YOU! Here’s the link to my post http://wp.me/p1zocx-1ma & the award’s website to learn more — http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/ I really appreciate this one, & you giving it to me means a lot — thanking you!!


    • My Dear Friend,

      Yet another thing that bonds us! I love that….

      YOU are generous to the bone; I love and honor that in you.

      Now that National Poetry Month is done, sigh, I am working more seriously on the ‘other stuff’. Thank you for giving me Space; in more ways than one.

      THANK YOU!
      Namaste, Jen


  3. I loved this – both times! 😀
    Thank you, Jen.


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