Lucille Clifton was an African American poet born in Depew, New York, in 1936  to working class parents. Lucille Clifton began writing at an early age. Clifton is noted for saying much with few words. In a Christian Century review of Clifton’s work, Peggy Rosenthal commented, “The first thing that strikes us about Lucille Clifton’s poetry is what is missing: capitalization, punctuation, long and plentiful lines. We see a poetry so pared down that its spaces take on substance, become a shaping presence as much as the words themselves”

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up

here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my other hand; come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.

 

 

TO READ THIS AND OTHER POEMS BY LUCILLE CLIFTON, AS WELL AS BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE POET, PLEASE VISIT THE POETRY FOUNDATION WEB SITE.

Leave a Reply