Monday, April 18, 2016

A Month of Favorite Poetry, Day #17

Unless you haven't noticed yet by my posts and references, I adore Ani DiFranco.  Not only is she an amazing lyricist, a prominent indie-folk musician, she's also a remarkable spoken-word poet.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I had never much listened to her music until around 2006.  Really, where had I been?

I have always said that her songs were just really good poetry put to some really good music.  I think I've been right, considering she released a book of poetry (some containing song lyrics!) in 2007.

I love her words for the daring topics she's not afraid to discuss with a full-view mirror turned back toward the reader:  feminism, government, democracy, relationships, the bare bones of the human heart.

This is one of my favorites.  I sort of feel as if I live inside these words.  I think I'm going to make it my anthem.  

by Ani DiFranco

when I was 4 years old
they tried to test my iq
they showed me this picture
of three oranges and a pear
they asked me
which one is different and does not belong?
they taught me different
is wrong

but when i was 13 years old
i woke up one morning
thighs covered in blood
like a war
like a warning
that i live in a breakable takeable body
an ever-increasingly valuable body
that a woman had come in the night to replace me
deface me

see my body is borrowed
i got it on loan
for the time in between my mom and some maggots
i don't need anyone to hold me
i can hold my own
i got highways for stretch marks
see where i've grown?

and i sing sometimes
like my life is at stake
cuz you're only as loud
as the noises you make
i'm learning to laugh
as hard as i can listen
cuz silence is violence
in women and poor people
if more people were screaming then i could relax
but a good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts

we live in a breakable takeable world
an ever available world
and we can make music
like we can make do
genius is in a backbeat
backseat to nothing if you're dancing
especially something stupid
like iq
for every lie i unlearn
i learn something new
and i sing sometimes
for the war that i fight
cuz every tool is a weapon
if you hold it right

from Verses, 2007

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