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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Coal is one of the earliest collections of poems by a woman who, Adrienne Rich writes, "for the complexity of her vision, for her moral courage and the catalytic passion of her language, has already become, for many, an indispensable poet."

Marilyn Hacker captures the essence of Lorde and her poetry: "Black, lesbian, mother, urban woman: none of Lorde's selves has ever sile
Paperback, 80 pages
Published August 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1976)
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"Fairy books where white witches ruled over the empty kitchen table and never wept or offered gold nor any kind enchantment for the vanished mother of a black girl"
Incredible set of poems that offer easy access while providing a lot of space to explore. I hope it's okay to share one below.

"When the Saints Come Marching in"
by Audre Lorde

Plentiful sacrifice and believers in redemption
are all that is needed
so any day now
I expect some new religion
to rise up like tear gas
from the streets of New York
erupting like the rank pavement smell
released by the garbage-trucks'
baptismal drizzle.

The high priests have been ready and waiting
with their incense pans full of fir
This collection is filled with the pain of loss and separation. Lorde is a poet I have long admired for her courage and public persona, and this work has done nothing to diminish it. As with much poetry, there are many things very personal in these pages, too personal for someone with the limited knowledge of her life's story that I have to be able to be able to interpret well, but the feelings they evoke are undeniable. The longest poem, "Martha", is as heartbreaking a tribute to a person broke ...more
Definitely one of the best books ever written This is poet is so multifaceted that everyone can enjoy it I recommend it without hesitation
Whew! Audre is way too deep for me! But she certainly does have a way with words. My favorite was the title poem "Coal." The line that really resonated with me: "Some words live in my throat breeding like adders." Hmmm...Still ruminating on that!
Taylor Washington
The theme in section one of this book is being a woman of color that boldly introduces herself as beautiful,strong, creative, an caring child- bearer,and most of all a champion. If you like these type of poems/ short stories this is the book for you.
Audre Lorde has her beautiful, unique voice tuned in to heart break and loss in this collection. Especially liked her series about Martha, heart breaking and yet, lovely.
Favorite poems in this collection: "Coal", "A Family Resemblance", "On a Night of the Full Moon" and "Conversations in Crisis".
Jul 08, 2007 Chris marked it as to-read
I don't understand poetry at all, but this is really interesting stuff. I enjoy it, even though I don't get it.
I liked poem for a poet best. I really like her words.
Melissa McClintock
feminist/african woman pov
B Beautiful poetry.
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Lorde's poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes' 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. During this time, she was politically active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet's Press and edited by Diane di Prima, a former cla ...more
More about Audre Lorde...

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“Love is a 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
take my word for jewel
in the open light.”
More quotes…