Original poem reprinted online here: Analysis of "Coal" by Audre Lorde
Originally read: December 18, 2012
More information about the Poet: Audre Lorde
"I could see the attraction of the extended metaphor -- this is more of a performance through sound and loose image; yet, all phantoms -- dead metaphors stacked on dead metaphors doesn't create life -- only a reminder of the dead"
Yeah, I don't know what was going through my mind that day. Today though I liked the play of simile, I don't know why. Each simile describes how the speaker views words to say "diamonds" "adders" and "gypsies over my tongue to explode through my lips." Okay so the exploding gypsies one doesn't work for me -- there's surreal and there's just silly.
Anyway, I wrote this at the end of the poem, "the construction of this...I tknow why it'll work because the build up 'meaning' behind words, but meh," and "forced ending -- meh. The reader has to take what the speaker says."
I can see what I mean in the past perspective (if that makes sense). The poem goes through the definition of words through "dead metaphors" and "play"; however, the end of the poem has to mean something, and, of course, why not love? Ending a poem with "love" well, isn't that new and exciting for me.
Also the last two lines, "I am black because I come from the earth's inside / Take my word for jewel in your open light" feel kind of forced as though it has to reference back to the beginning of the poem or rather the speaker has to define him/herself in the end after the ambiguous definition of words through offbeat similes.
But is this style too predictable, well, I guess so. It's hard to construct a definition poem (which I think this is) without some sort of exclamation within the poem. I think I'm writing that the exclamation in this poem ruins the play of words in the middle.