Poetry Appreciation: ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde

This post is a part of my ‘Poetry Appreciation’ segment wherein every once in a while I share a poem that I like. Today I’ve chosen Audre Lorde’s ‘Who said It Was Simple’.

About Audre Lorde: Audre Lorde (18 February 1934 – 17 November 1992) was an American writer, civil rights activist, feminist, womanist, and librarian. She described herself as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet ” and dedicated her life to confronting the evils of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and homophobia. Some of her works include – Sister Outsider, The Black Unicorn: Poems, and A Burst of Light: Essays.

About ‘Who Said It Was Simple’: ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ was published in a collection called From a Land Where Other People Live in 1973. The poem reflects the ideas of intersectional feminism by highlighting multi-faceted identities and the different kinds of discriminations that one may face because of them. it questions those who call themselves feminists and continue to oppress others, thereby highlighting the need for intersectionality within feminism.

Who Said It Was Simple

By: Audre Lorde

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 colour
as well as sex

and sit here wondering   
which me will survive   
all these liberations.

***

What do you think of the poem? And is there any poem that you would like to recommend?

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