Friday, October 22, 2010

For Women, Poetry is Not a Luxury....

Writing of Sapphire's Push in the Women's Review of Books in 1996, Gayle Pemberton invokes Audre Lorde who passed away in 1992 during her term as State Poet under the auspices of the New York State Writers Institute.

"For women, then, poetry is not a luxury," wrote Audre Lorde. "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."

"Claireece Precious Jones, the protagonist of Sapphire's remarkable novel Push, is a living embodiment of Lorde's dictum. Precious, as she prefers to be called, learns to survive a life of horrific trauma by learning to read and write. Through her own poetry she gives voice to her soul, revealing a fortitude and an indomitable human spirit rarely equalled in any fiction."