Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems 1987-1992 by Audre Lorde

The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems 1987-1992 by Audre Lorde is a slender collection of poems written by Lorde in the final years of her life. The poems are angry, political, daring, and bold. Anyone familiar with Lorde’s life and experience can easily read between the lines of the poems for more meaning, can hear the anger without flinching at the raised fist, and will fall in love with the same delicacy that Lorde communicates through her words. I always approach Lorde with a cautious openness, knowing that I will come to feel her rage, feel defensive a her words confront my beliefs, and that I will, as always, fall in love with her all over again. This collection is no different. The last poems in the collection are my favorite, although the poem I am sharing is not one of the later ones. Still, I know that this poem would have been one I would have used to complement Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, to remind my students that what they take for granted some children have died to have, to remind myself that I am no less guilty of forgetting how blessed I am in my life.
Prism For Joyce Serote There are no frogs in Soweto students croak Amandla! Through the tear-gas. Not true no frogs live in Soweto only we are too weary with no ears left to hear them. Who knows where frogs live in Soweto who has time to listen stroll along a moonlit gutter beyond the flames of evening rising falling the thin high screams of skewered children. In the bruising fist of challenge the future does not tarry. Take your words to bed with you dream upon them choose any ones you wish write us a poem.


  1. Satia-
    I wanted to email you, but I couldn't find your email.So hopefully you will find this random comment and we can get in touch. But I saw your comment on my vertigo entry on my blog and I would love to know about your experience. Sometimes I feel so alone...and even crazy! It feels like there's a monster taking over inside me. I go to a neurologist tomorrow...cross fingers.

  2. Monica,

    I left a comment in your blog with my email but I don't think I received anything. Just in case, if you still want to email me, there's a tiny envelope image at the bottom of each post. If you click that envelope, you can email me directly. I hope your appointment went well.