This is another of the poems that I love. I used it a lot in my teaching when I was lecturing at University. What I most respect about this poem is that it so skilfully connects the broader social issues of discrimination and oppression to the more individual
issues about our connections to ourselves.
Urged To Deny The Secrets
Urged to deny the secrets within our natures
And to reject the differences of others
We are taught to be fearful of ourselves
And contemptuous of others.
Separated from ourselves and isolated from each other
We are taught to huddle together for comfort
Under the socially acceptable banners
Of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia -
We are discouraged from seeing the ways in which
We are all connected
We are thus rendered powerless
And immobilised by our prejudices
This is not an accident.
Blanche Wiesen Cook