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Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000

Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000

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Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000

5/5 (2 valutazioni)
131 pagine
1 ora
Aug 11, 2020


The long-awaited collection by one of the most distinguished poets working today.
Aug 11, 2020

Informazioni sull'autore

Lucille Clifton (1936–2010) was an award winning poet, fiction writer, and author of children’s books. Her poetry collection, Blessing the Boats: New & Selected Poems 1988-2000 (BOA, 2000), won the National Book Award for Poetry. In 1988 she became the only author to have two collections selected in the same year as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir (BOA, 1987), and Next: New Poems (BOA, 1987). In 1996, her collection The Terrible Stories (BOA, 1996), was a finalist for the National Book Award. Among her many other awards and accolades are the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Frost Medal, and an Emmy Award. In 2013, her posthumously published collection The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (BOA, 2012), was awarded the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry.

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Anteprima del libro

Blessing the Boats - Lucille Clifton


new poems


the times

it is hard to remain human on a day

when birds perch weeping

in the trees and the squirrel eyes

do not look away but the dog ones do

in pity.

another child has killed a child

and i catch myself relieved that they are

white and i might understand except

that i am tired of understanding.

if this

alphabet could speak its own tongue

it would be all symbol surely;

the cat would hunch across the long table

and that would mean time is catching up,

and the spindle fish would run to ground

and that would mean the end is coming

and the grains of dust would gather themselves

along the streets and spell out:

these too are your children this too is your child


when the birds begin to walk

when the crows in their silk tuxedos

stand in the road and watch

as oncoming traffic swerves to avoid

the valley of dead things

when the geese reject the sky

and sit on the apron of highway 95

one wing pointing north the other south

and what does it mean this morning

when a man runs wild eyed from his car

shirtless and shoeless his palms spread wide

into the jungle of traffic into a world

gone awry the birds beginning to walk

the man almost naked almost cawing

almost lifting straining to fly


whatever slid into my mother’s room that

late june night, tapping her great belly,

summoned me out roundheaded and unsmiling.

is this the moon, my father used to grin,

cradling me? it was the moon

but nobody knew it then.

the moon understands dark places.

the moon has secrets of her own.

she holds what light she can.

we girls were ten years old and giggling

in our hand-me-downs. we wanted breasts,

pretended that we had them, tissued

our undershirts. jay johnson is teaching

me to french kiss, ella bragged, who

is teaching you? how do you say; my father?

the moon is queen of everything.

she rules the oceans, rivers, rain.

when I am asked whose tears these are

I always blame the moon.


after the cancer, the

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  • (5/5)
    I read quite a bit of poetry, though I rarely end up sitting down and reading a collection by a single author at once without jumping between collections, journals, etc. This was an exception. I had read Clifton before, but only poems that were dropped into larger anthologies, and while I'd enjoyed them, I was never blown away. This collection, though, is one I'll keep and return to, and there are quite a few poems I'll be copying down into a journal I keep of favorite poems. There are some authors you go to for their language, and some for their ideas. Those who really capture you with both--particularly on a regular basis within their works, I find rarely. Here though, there's little left to be desired. The poems are beautiful, unique, thoughtful, and what's more, they're accessable. If you enjoy poetry, I strongly recommend this collection. I will say that I found the ending section to be the weakest--it was enjoyable, but didn't live up to the earlier work in the collection. If you're not deadset on reading the whole thing straight through, I'd recommend reading the last section, the poems from The Terrible Stories, first, and then beginning at the beginning to read the rest and the best of the work. That last section, by the way is about 18 pages out of 128, and it's still worthwhile, just not as memorable as the earlier portions of the book. Enjoy.