Anne Spencer

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Anne Spencer

Anne Spencer

Anne Spencer was an active writer of the Harlem Rennaisance. She was the first African-American poet to have her work included in the Norton Anthology of American Poetry.

Anne Spencer was born on February 6, 1882, in Virginia and was an American poet and active member of the Harlem Renaissance. She was a supporter of equality and equal education opportunity for all. She died on July 27, 1975.

Anne Spencer

Harlem, New York

“Letter to My Sister” is talking about following the footsteps of those before you. To follow patriarchy and to do as you’re told. The poem talks about gods but it is inferring men. So it says to not deny ‘gods’ their god-like fun.

Letter to My SisterIt is dangerous for a woman to defy the gods;To taunt them with the tongue's thin tip,Or strut in the weakness of mere humanity,Or draw a line daring them to cross;The gods own the searing lightning,The drowning waters, tormenting fearsAnd anger of red sins.Oh, but worse still if you mince timidly--Dodge this way or that, or kneel or pray,Be kind, or sweat agony dropsOr lay your quick body over your feeble young;If you have beauty or none, if celibateOr vowed--the gods are Juggernaut,Passing over . . . over . . .This you may do:Lock your heart, then, quietly,And lest they peer within,Light no lamp when dark comes downRaise no shade for sun;Breathless must your breath come throughIf you'd die and dare denyThe gods their god-like fun.


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