Open main menu

Wikiquote β

Audre Lorde

Writer and activist

Audre Geraldine Lorde (February 18, 1934November 17, 1992) was a black writer, feminist, womanist, lesbian, and civil rights activist. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity. She is often regarded as one of the most important writers of the Black Feminist movement along with Angela Davis, bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins

Audre Lorde.jpg

SourcedEdit

  • When I speak of the erotic, then I speak of it as an assertion of the life force of women; of that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives.
    • entry for June 26 Living Life Fully in Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much, Anne Wilson Schaef, c. 1990
  • When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
    • The Cancer Journals, Special Edition, Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, CA, 1997, p. 13.
  • Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever / Only, nothing is eternal.
    • Undersong
  • I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.
    • essay "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action", in Sister Outsider
  • Your silence will not protect you.
    • essay "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action", in Sister Outsider
  • I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or chisel to remind you of your me-ness as I discover you in myself.
    • essay "Eye to Eye", in Sister Outsider
  • We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us, the love of Black women for each other.
    • essay "Eye to Eye", in Sister Outsider
  • The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.
    • essay "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House", in Sister Outsider
  • I have always wanted to be both man and woman, to incorporate the strongest and richest parts of my mother and father within/into me — to share valleys and mountains upon my body the way the earth does in hills and peaks.
    • Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)Edit

  • The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.
    • "Poetry is Not a Luxury"
  • 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 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 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.
    • "Poetry is Not a Luxury"
  • For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
  • We can train ourselves to respect our feelings, and to discipline (transpose) them into a language that matches those feelings so they can be shared. And where that language does not yet exist, it is our poetry which helps to fashion it. Poetry is not only dream or vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.
    • "Poetry is Not a Luxury"
  • 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. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.
    • "Poetry is Not a Luxury"
  • What woman here is so enamored of her own oppression that she cannot see her heelprint upon another woman's face? What woman's terms of oppression have become precious and necessary to her as a ticket into the fold of the righteous, away from the cold winds of self-scrutiny?
    • "The Uses of Anger"

External linkEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: