“The Venus Hottentot” (by Elizabeth Alexander)

A poem by Elizabeth Alexander looking into the consciousnesses of Saartjie Baartman, the “Venus Hottentot”–a black woman from Africa who was displayed as a “freak” and later dissected by white European scientists, and of one of those scientists.

A stanza:

2.

There is unexpected sun today

in London, and the clouds that

most days sift into this cage

where I am working have dispersed.

I am a black cutout against

a captive blue sky, pivoting

nude so the paying audience

can view my naked buttocks.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

April 4, 2013 · 10:58 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s