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Best Famous Audre Lorde Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Audre Lorde poems. This is a select list of the best famous Audre Lorde poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Audre Lorde poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Audre Lorde poems.

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by Audre Lorde |

Inheritance—His

 I.
My face resembles your face less and less each day.
When I was young no one mistook whose child I was.
Features build coloring alone among my creamy fine-boned sisters marked me Byron's daughter.
No sun set when you died, but a door opened onto my mother.
After you left she grieved her crumpled world aloft an iron fist sweated with business symbols a printed blotter dwell in the house of Lord's your hollow voice changing down a hospital corridor yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.
II.
I rummage through the deaths you lived swaying on a bridge of question.
At seven in Barbados dropped into your unknown father's life your courage vault from his tailor's table back to the sea.
Did the Grenada treeferns sing your 15th summer as you jumped ship to seek your mother finding her too late surrounded with new sons? Who did you bury to become the enforcer of the law the handsome legend before whose raised arm even trees wept a man of deep and wordless passion who wanted sons and got five girls? You left the first two scratching in a treefern's shade the youngest is a renegade poet searching for your answer in my blood.
My mother's Grenville tales spin through early summer evenings.
But you refused to speak of home of stepping proud Black and penniless into this land where only white men ruled by money.
How you labored in the docks of the Hotel Astor your bright wife a chambermaid upstairs welded love and survival to ambition as the land of promise withered crashed the hotel closed and you peddle dawn-bought apples from a push-cart on Broadway.
Does an image of return wealthy and triumphant warm your chilblained fingers as you count coins in the Manhattan snow or is it only Linda who dreams of home? When my mother's first-born cries for milk in the brutal city winter do the faces of your other daughters dim like the image of the treeferned yard where a dark girl first cooked for you and her ash heap still smells of curry? III.
Did the secret of my sisters steal your tongue like I stole money from your midnight pockets stubborn and quaking as you threaten to shoot me if I am the one? The naked lightbulbs in our kitchen ceiling glint off your service revolver as you load whispering.
Did two little dark girls in Grenada dart like flying fish between your averted eyes and my pajamaless body our last adolescent summer? Eavesdropped orations to your shaving mirror our most intense conversations were you practicing how to tell me of my twin sisters abandoned as you had been abandoned by another Black woman seeking her fortune Grenada Barbados Panama Grenada.
New York City.
IV.
You bought old books at auctions for my unlanguaged world gave me your idols Marcus Garvey Citizen Kane and morsels from your dinner plate when I was seven.
I owe you my Dahomeyan jaw the free high school for gifted girls no one else thought I should attend and the darkness that we share.
Our deepest bonds remain the mirror and the gun.
V.
An elderly Black judge known for his way with women visits this island where I live shakes my hand, smiling.
"I knew your father," he says "quite a man!" Smiles again.
I flinch at his raised eyebrow.
A long-gone woman's voice lashes out at me in parting "You will never be satisfied until you have the whole world in your bed!" Now I am older than you were when you died overwork and silence exploding your brain.
You are gradually receding from my face.
Who were you outside the 23rd Psalm? Knowing so little how did I become so much like you? Your hunger for rectitude blossoms into rage the hot tears of mourning never shed for you before your twisted measurements the agony of denial the power of unshared secrets.


by Audre Lorde |

Never To Dream Of Spiders

 Time collapses between the lips of strangers
my days collapse into a hollow tube 
soon implodes against now
like an iron wall
my eyes are blocked with rubble 
a smear of perspectives
blurring each horizon 
in the breathless precision of silence
One word is made.
Once the renegade flesh was gone fall air lay against my face sharp and blue as a needle but the rain fell through October and death lay a condemnation within my blood.
The smell of your neck in August a fine gold wire bejeweling war all the rest lies illusive as a farmhouse on the other side of a valley vanishing in the afternoon.
Day three day four day ten the seventh step a veiled door leading to my golden anniversary flameproofed free-paper shredded in the teeth of a pillaging dog never to dream of spiders and when they turned the hoses upon me a burst of light.


by Audre Lorde |

Coal

 I 
is the total black, being spoken 
from the earth's inside.
There are many kinds of open how a diamond comes into a knot of flame how sound comes into a words, coloured by who pays what for speaking.
Some words are open like a diamond on glass windows singing out within the crash of sun Then there are words like stapled wagers in a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart— and come whatever will all chances the stub remains an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat breeding like adders.
Other know sun seeking like gypsies over my tongue to explode through my lips like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words bedevil me Love is word, another kind of open.
As the diamond comes into a knot of flame I am Black because I come from the earth's inside Now take my word for jewel in the open light.


by Audre Lorde |

The Electric Slide Boogie

 New Year's Day 1:16 AM
and my body is weary beyond
time to withdraw and rest
ample room allowed me in everyone's head
but community calls
right over the threshold
drums beating through the walls
children playing their truck dramas
under the collapsible coatrack
in the narrow hallway outside my room

The TV lounge next door is wide open
it is midnight in Idaho
and the throb easy subtle spin
of the electric slide boogie
step-stepping
around the corner of the parlor
past the sweet clink
of dining room glasses
and the edged aroma of slightly overdone
dutch-apple pie
all laced together
with the rich dark laughter
of Gloria
and her higher-octave sisters

How hard it is to sleep 
in the middle of life.


by Audre Lorde |

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.


by Audre Lorde |

Making Love To Concrete

 An upright abutment in the mouth
of the Willis Avenue bridge
a beige Honda leaps the divider
like a steel gazelle inescapable
sleek leather boots on the pavement
rat-a-tat-tat best intentions
going down for the third time
stuck in the particular

You cannot make love to concrete
if you care about being
non-essential wrong or worn thin
if you fear ever becoming
diamonds or lard
you cannot make love to concrete
if you cannot pretend
concrete needs your loving

To make love to concrete
you need an indelible feather
white dresses before you are ten
a confirmation lace veil milk-large bones
and air raid drills in your nightmares
no stars till you go to the country
and one summer when you are twelve
Con Edison pulls the plug
on the street-corner moons Walpurgisnacht
and there are sudden new lights in the sky
stone chips that forget you need
to become a light rope a hammer
a repeatable bridge
garden-fresh broccoli two dozen dropped eggs
and a hint of you
caught up between my fingers
the lesson of a wooden beam
propped up on barrels
across a mined terrain

between forgiving too easily
and never giving at all.


by Audre Lorde |

Hanging Fire

 I am fourteen
and my skin has betrayed me
the boy I cannot live without 
still sucks his tumb 
in secret
how come my knees are 
always so ashy
what if I die
before the morning comes
and momma's in the bedroom
with the door closed.
I have to learn how to dance in time for the next party my room is too small for me suppose I de before graduation they will sing sad melodies but finally tell the truth aout me There is nothing I want to do and too much that has to be done and momma's in the bedroom with the door closed.
Nobody even stops to think about my side of it I should have been on Math Team my marks were better than his why do I have to be the one wearing braces I have nothing to wear tomorrow will I live long enough to grow up and momma's in the bedroom with the door closed.


by Audre Lorde |

Who Said It Was Simple

 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.


by Marilyn Hacker |

Years End

 for Audre Lorde and Sonny Wainwright

Twice in my quickly disappearing forties
someone called while someone I loved and I were
making love to tell me another woman had died of cancer.
Seven years apart, and two different lovers: underneath the numbers, how lives are braided, how those women's death and lives, lived and died, were interleaved also.
Does lip touch on lip a memento mori? Does the blood-thrust nipple against its eager mate recall, through lust, a breast's transformations sometimes are lethal? Now or later, what's the enormous difference? If one day is good, is a day sufficient? Is it fear of death with which I'm so eager to live my life out now and in its possible permutations with the one I love? (Only four days later, she was on a plane headed west across the Atlantic, work-bound.
) Men and women, mortally wounded where we love and nourish, dying at thirty, forty, fifty, not on barricades, but in beds of unfulfilled promise: tell me, senators, what you call abnormal? Each day's obits read as if there's a war on.
Fifty-eight-year-old poet dead of cancer: warrior woman laid down with the other warrior women.
Both times when the telephone rang, I answered, wanting not to, knowing I had to answer, go from two bodies' infinite approach to a crest of pleasure through the disembodied voice from a distance saying one loved body was clay, one wave of mind burst and broken.
Each time we went back to each other's hands and mouths as to a requiem where the chorus sings death with irrelevant and amazing bodily music.