Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Audre

Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde was born today in New York City in 1924. She worked in a series of low-paying jobs between high-school and her eventual attendance at college, earning a BA in literature and philosophy from Hunter in 1959 and an MLS from Columbia University in 1960. Being gay, she was unable to find a home in the Harlem Writers Guild - being gay and black and a woman, she was an outsider in many ways, and her collection of essays "Sister Outsider" is widely acclaimed and taught. Here is one of her poems.

The Black Unicorn

The black unicorn is greedy.
The black unicorn is impatient.
The black unicorn was mistaken
for a shadow or symbol
and taken
through a cold country
where mist painted mockeries
of my fury.
It is not on her lap where the horn rests
but deep in her moonpit
growing.
The black unicorn is restless
the black unicorn is unrelenting
the black unicorn is not
free.

(more poems and info on Audre Lorde here)

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