Poem(s) of the Week: An Andrea Gibson Medley
We need so much less than we take. We owe so much more than we give. Squirrels plant thousands of trees every year just from forgetting where they left their acorns.
If we aimed to be just half as good as one of the earth’s mistakes, we could turn so much around.
- "Homesick: A Plea For Our Planet," Andrea Gibson
No poet can or should be labeled an LGBTQ+ poet, but spoken word poet Andrea Gibson has been a multifaceted champion for this community, for a fierce exploration and celebration of gender identity, LGBTQIA+ experience, and so much more through years of lived and recorded performance poetry and written publications. Their work, which frequently addresses social justice issues in a voice both personal and declarative, has received widespread recognition for many years. Gibson originally hails from Calais, Maine, and if nothing else resonates with you from their work, perhaps this line will bring a quiet smile to your face: "When I don't believe in myself / I try to remember I have walked on water, / like, 700 times / in Maine in the dead of winter."
Below, please check out a medley of powerful Andrea Gibson videos, including the call to action "Homesick: a Plea For Our Planet," the emotional and affirming "The Year of No Grudges," and the powerful exploration of gender identity, "Your Life," which details the struggles of youth when "your pronouns haven't even been invented yet." Let the words sit with you or simply enjoy the beautiful articulation of their voice.
Check out Gibson's YouTube channel for more beautifully recorded videos and spoken word performances. Their 2018 book of poetry Lord of the Butterflies, which includes strong verse to address the Orlando nightclub shootings, can be requested through Minerva.
Without further ado, an excerpt from "Homesick," followed by three various and resonant videos:
"Dawn presses her blushing face to my window, asks me if I know the records in my record collection look like the insides of trees. Yes, I say, there is nothing you have ever grown that isn’t music. You were the bamboo in Coltrane’s saxophone reed. The mulberries that fed the silkworms that made the slippers for the ballet. ...
Who, more than the earth, has bled for us?"