‘A Litany for Survival’ is an eloquent, hope-filled poem by an award winning Black, Lesbian poet Audre Lorde. She pens down her thoughts rather artistically and though the language of the poem is extremely simple, its beauty lies in the placement of her thoughts and their elegancy. She offers hope, loads and loads and hope. She asks people to let go off their fears and try, for there is nothing to loose.
The poem is very close to my heart. It inspires me like nothing else does. It gives me hope when I am shattered and a reason to fight when defeat looks imminent and unavoidable. It tends to help me in every shade and situation of life. The deep impression this poem has on my mind rests in the way it describes the struggles one faces in life and how they could be tackled with sheer optimism and fearlessness. The poem lists the struggles of all those who are oppressed, who dare not speak out of their inhibitions and fears, who are always on the edge and indecisive and those for whom life offers nothing but negativity. The poem encourages all such people to stand and speak up, to get a voice. It backs one to tell his/her fears, speak of dreams, and say what one has to say because it needs to be said (Squitieri 2009). These features connect me to the poem, to Audre’s thoughts. The closing idea of the poem is indeed its best part. The idea, which at the outset looks too subtle and too easy, but is most difficult to implement and adhere to.
‘So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive’
These lines make me understand the ulterior purpose of life. For me it means not to live like a coward, to win over my fears and to speak up when necessary; as it is only death, which is certain.
The central idea of the issue is close to my heart. It reminds of my past, a dreadful and petrifying past that still makes me shudder. That still makes me feel weak and feeble. The past that I thought would never end till I decided to take the charge and fight. My fight through my past resonates with the ideas of the poem to the core. I was one of the most bullied kids in my school. I was teased and poked fun at. I hated it, but considered myself way too weak to do anything. Life for me was miserable. I did not like playing with the kids of my age; I disliked school to the core. Frustrated by life, I often thought of taking some extreme steps but somehow held back. It was just that one-day I decided, “Enough Is Enough, I have never done anything wrong to deserve such a life and since I am responsible for my future, I need to act”. I was just a forceful and fearless NO that ended my misery. It was a moment of pride for me that changed my life for the better. I overcame myself; I understood that this world doesn’t respect cowards. My past is indeed the replica of the poem’s thoughts.
Realizing that there is nothing to be afraid of and that it is way better going down as a fighter than a loser is what the poem is all about. I understood it then and take pride in myself. There is something in this poem that can inspire everybody and that is what makes this poem truly special.
InteractiveTheatre. ”A Litany For Survival.”
Interactive Theatre. 8 April 2013. Web. n.d
Squitieri, Christina. ”Poem of the Week”
The Baylon Blog. 8 April 2013. Web. 2009