… 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 dreams birth concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.
Audre Lorde (1934–1992), African American poet, autobiographer, and lesbian feminist. Sister Outsider, ch. 3 (1984).
From “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” an essay first published in Chrysalis, number 3 (1977).