Sunday, October 19, 2014


The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
instead of your children.

Even after reading the rest of her work, much of it for the third or fourth time, I keep coming back to this stanza.  Thea idea of the destruction that can be inflicted using either form of writing/speaking is what makes me stop.  The idea that putting yourself down on the page, your true self and pouring over these words can be equated with laying down your life is a frightening thought.  Almost as frightening I think as saying that empty promises or colorful, meaningless language can kill your children.  I think it's more frightening because rhetoric already has a negative connotation, we already know that pomposity can be detrimental and harmful.  Poetry we see as a form of self expression, something that can help us say things we might not be able to in a straightforward way.  We think of poetry as something that can be an extension of our own souls.  To say that to be able to express these deep innermost feelings about yourself means that you are "ready to kill yourself" is a frightening idea.  It makes it that much scarier of an idea.  
Do you agree with Lorde's sentiment?   

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