Friday, January 20, 2023

On Shaping Poetry: Audre Lorde

Cover of Sister Outsider
Audre Lorde
Crossing Press, 1984
via Wikimedia Commons, Fair use

The American professor/essayist/poet/feminist Audre Lorde's useful advice about 'finding' a poem:
I was revising too much instead of writing new poems.

[...] poetry is not Play-Doh. You can’t take a poem and keep reforming it. It is itself, and you have to know how to cut it. And if there’s something else you want to say, that’s fine.
From an interview with Adrienne Rich, 1979, in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (audiobook, narrated by Robin Eller). Read in 2019.

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