lovesong from the daughters of your pen – The Feminist Wire

lovesong from the daughters of your pen

By Evie Shockley

Audre Lorde copyright Dagmar Schultz

Audre Lorde
copyright Dagmar Schultz











lovesong from the daughters of your pen


.            big and complex as a world. sharp

and boisterous as an idea. alive

.            to us only in words: no wonder we


.            see you as encyclopedic. the lucky

ones who heard your elemental

 .           laughter, who sought and fought


.            your strong actual arms cannot

know how warm a cocoon we’ve

 .           spun out of lines and paragraphs


.            rife with your shuddering pulse

and the blood lovers and loved

.            ones left behind when they left.



.            what a map you created: stanzas

pointing true north. metaphors

.            leading cleanly around the pitfalls


.            where you spent dark days, years,

decades trapped. what a meal

.            you prepared: myths as river as


.            wine. substantial passions. seeds

to plant, seeds to consume. for

.            seasoning, our own minds, laid


 .           between pestle—your steady prod—

and cool stone mortar, ready to be

 .           come changed, ground into spices.


            —for audre lorde


Evie Schokley

Evie Shockley

Evie Shockley is the author of four poetry collections—including the new black (Wesleyan), winner of the 2012 Hurston/Wright Award, and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press)—and the critical study Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa).  Her creative and critical work has been published widely in journals and anthologies, and has been recognized and supported by ACLS, Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, Millay Colony for the Arts, MacDowell, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  A former co-editor of jubilat, she now serves as creative editor for Feminist Studies.  She is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.