Claiming the Poetry Within

On Sunday, March 13th, Still Harbor’s Senior Partner, Rev. C. Perry Dougherty, led morning prayer at Harvard Memorial Church.

Inspired by the essay, Poetry is Not a Luxury by Audre Lorde, she honors International Women’s Day and invites us to challenge our fear and silence by speaking our truths. She references her recently published book, The Anatomy of Silence, which is an anthology of 26 voices speaking out about the silence that surrounds sexual violence. Stay tuned as a chapter from the book will be featured in the upcoming Issue 10 of Anchor Magazine.

We invite you to listen to her words here:


Poetry is Not a Luxury by Audre Lorde

The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.

As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.