poetry is not a luxury

I came into work early today, and am taking some time to watch Martha Nell Smith‘s Distinguished Scholar-Teacher lecture titled “The Humanities Are Not a Luxury: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century,” given this month at UMD. I love listening to Martha Nell talk: her perceptiveness and her wicked sense of humor are a good in the world. So, as much as I wish there were a transcription of the lecture, I think the video is worth watching, and recommend it. (The lecture proper starts around minute 11-12.)

Meanwhile, though, have a quote from Audre Lorde:

For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.

2 Responses to “poetry is not a luxury”

  1. Molly Says:

    Yeah. I really want to listen to that video, but in the meantime I’m unable to stop reading the Audre Lorde quote. I think I might need to give name to more nameless things.

  2. Gin Conn Says:

    This is a great post, especially the wonderful quote by Audre Lorde. She is missed.