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Our Dead Behind Us: Poems
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Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  18 reviews
As Marilyn Hacker has written, "Black, lesbian, mother, cancer survivor, urban woman: none of Lorde's selves has ever silenced the others; the counterpoint among them is often the material of her strongest poems."
Paperback, 88 pages
Published August 17th 1994 by W. W. Norton Company (first published June 1st 1986)
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Julie
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wax-poetic
This is my introduction to Audre Lorde's writing, and, though this collection was a tad overly political in nature for me, I still found my way to the juicy parts of her poetry.

On writing:

I cannot recall the words of my first poem
but I remember a promise
I made my pen
never to leave it
lying
in somebody else's blood
.

On women:

Some women wait for something
to change
and nothing
does change
so they change
themselves
.

On the differences of opinions:

Tanned boys I do not know
on their first proud harvest
wave f
...more
Drew
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
In case you missed it, the world's at war. And as chroniclers of these conflicts go, you can't get much better than Audre Lorde. This later collection is one powerful poem after another, revealing her mastery at crafting unforgettable lines and images whether she's addressing womanhood ("Stations"), South African politics ("Holographs") or a fertility goddess ("Call"). As Lorde herself asks,"...so where is true history written / except in poems" and who are we to doubt her. Her book is a testame ...more
David
so where is true history written
except in the poems?
Donald Quist
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stunning.
Michael P.
Lorde is a lauded poet published by a major house, so I assume her quality. I must have a blind spot when it comes to her work. I did not like a single poem in this collection. I disliked different poems for one of three reasons.

The first are poems I do not understand. After multiple readings, I do not believe the author gives us enough information for these poems to make sense. Perhaps some words are coded for those in the know?

She has a way of treating the mundane as if it is momentous. Perha
...more
Katie
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Powerful stuff.

And such a broad geography/timeline of women it covers. You know, since she was a Black, female, lesbian poet who faced cancer etc etc and had such eyes on the world:

"...


Some women wait for themselves
Around the next corner
And call the empty spot peace
But the opposite of living
Is only not living
And the stars do not care.

Some women wait for something
To change and nothing
Does change
So they change
Themselves. "
Haydee
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection feels similar to how the lungs, after exhaling the breath into that place of discomfort, to then inhale deeply.

Many of the poems address the memories and intersections of blackness, childhood, the future, and the present. Some are whimsical, some heartbearing, some throwing you into the realities of identity.
Riegs
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Tough to read if you plan on just casually perusing poetry. Her poems are painful, but in a wonderfully cathartic way.
Lara
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017, poetry
Yet another 5 stars for an Audre Lorde poetry collection! She's breaking all kind of records for me here, but I should no longer be surprised.

The previous few collections have felt raw and powerful, and this one feels the same, but in a different way--maybe cozy in its language somehow, and, as another reviewer mentions, Lorde really focuses on the little things in life here--small moments that, by themselves are not much, but in Lorde's hands they become part of a bigger story, and it's really
...more
Shawn
May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well, I finally finished. I can honestly say that I am not that big of an Audre Lorde. I don't know if I picked the wrong book to start reading her works or what but I had a hard time grasping the meaning of several of her poems. I had to do some research or should I say a lot of research to get the meaning behind the poems. Just not my kind of poetry. I don't know if this will be the only works that I read from her but this is not my cup of tea. Reading about Lorde I found out she is a fighter ...more
Carrotcakie
- "Some women wait for something to change and nothing does change so they change themselves"(15)
- "I am bleak heroism of words that refuse to be buried alive with the liars"(53)
- "I may be a weed in the garden of women I have loved"(74)
Shelby Lynne
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Lorde is one of those poets I wish I'd studied in the classroom, because I know I miss so much just reading her on my own. 3.5 stars, though, for the things I unequivocally got.
Stephanie Hempel
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy-a-copy, teaching
Gorgeous
Valerie
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“A blade in the bed of a child will slice up nightmare into simpler hungers”
Mills College Library
811.54 L867o 1994
Michelle-lee
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
There's a lot of depth to this book and I'm not that deep lol so though I got the general idea and flow of this book I was veryyy confused. It was a very difficult read for me 💀
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Audre Lorde is a revolutionary Black feminist. 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 P ...more

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