Essay about Poetry Is Not A Luxury By Audre Lorde

Essay about Poetry Is Not A Luxury By Audre Lorde

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In this paper, I plan to explore and gain some insight on Audre Lorde’s personal background and what motivated her to compose a number of empowering and highly respected literary works such as “Poetry is Not a Luxury”. In “Poetry is Not a Luxury”, Lorde not only gives voice to people especially women who are underrepresented, but also strongly encourages one to step out of their comfort zone and utilize writing or poetry to express and free oneself of repressed emotions. I am greatly interested in broadening my knowledge and understanding of the themes that are most prominent in Lorde’s works such as feminism, sexism and racism. It is my hope that after knowing more about her that I would also be inspired to translate my thoughts and feelings into writings.
Audre Geraldine Lorde was born in Harlem, New York on February 18, 1934. She was the youngest child of West Indian immigrants from a middle-class family. Her father, Frederick Byron Lorde, originally from Carriacou, was in the real estate business alongside her mother, Linda Belmar, who was from Grenada. Lorde had a congenital vision and speech problems and did not have a close relationship with her two older sisters. Since childhood, Lorde’s natural talent and regard to poetry shined through.
She attended elementary at St. Mark’s and St. Catherine’s Catholic schools in Harlem, where she was ostracized by the nuns for wearing braids. After completing her elementary education, she moved to Hunter High School in 1947 for her secondary education. At Hunter High School, she joined a literary group of young women called “The Branded”. Lorde wrote her first poem when she was in eighth grade, and became the editor of her school’s magazine during her senior year. At the age of sevente...

... middle of paper ... viewed poetry as the embodiment of one’s personal experiences, and she challenged what the white, European males have imbued in society, as she declared, “I speak here of poetry as the revelation or distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean — in order to cover their desperate wish for imagination without insight.” (Lorde)

Works Cited

“Audre Lorde 1934-1992.” Poetry Foundation, Accessed 15 November 2017,
“Audre Lorde "A Woman Speaks" - Reading at Amerika Haus Berlin 1984.” Youtube, uploaded by Audre Lorde in Berlin, 24 October 2016,
Clark, Ana.”BOOK REVIEW: “Poetry Is Not a Luxury”. Ana Clark, 20 May 2008, Accessed 15 November 2017.

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