sappho is alive and well

by Hazel Crawley

Image: Queer Newark Oral History Project
Image: Queer Newark Oral History Project

Yes, Sappho is alive and well;
Within my life’s blood does she dwell.
My short-lived joys, my long-lived pain,
Command her into being again.

Despite long spans of dried-out Hell,
Despite my mask, despite my shell,
Despite bans, Witch Hunts, family …
She thrives … and she abides in me.

No other format gives me sway;
Only her candle lights my way.
Let canons, tomes, toll our death knell …
I tell you, ‘We’re alive and well.’

Newark’s official gay pride celebrations date back to 2005. The rainbow flag was raised in front of City Hall in 2007 for the first time, a ceremony repeated each year in July.

Hazel Crawley’s poem appears in her 1975 collection Erratica.

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