“Poetry is Not a Luxury”

As we start National Poetry Month in a moment of incredible hardship, we can find some comfort in Audre Lorde’s reminder in “Poetry is Not a Luxury” (1985):

“The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.”

Please enjoy “After Eden,” a reading by Ladan Osman that was made just for you: