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The Terrible Stories

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The long-awaited tenth collection of poetry from the Shelley Memorial Prize-winning poet Lucille Clifton.
Paperback, 70 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by BOA Editions Ltd.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 31, 2008 Susan rated it liked it
This particular Clifton book of poems was very emotional and I remember getting a sense that she was dealing with violent experiences through writing. The book had great subtlety, but there was something about it that felt a little too inaccessible, a little too distant. I didn't feel let in enough. She did translate some strong emotions, but their was a vague opacity to the whole thing. Maybe the idea of something latent was part of what she wanted to communicate.
Mar 25, 2015 QS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't possibly give this book less than four stars, because omgLucilleClifton!!!1, but I didn't feel quite strongly enough about it to give it five. I think what got me was that the collection seemed to vary so widely in such a small space, in metaphor, subject matter, and style. If there had been a larger amount of poetry, I probably would have appreciated the book as a whole more.

What I most appreciate in this book are the second and third sections. I don't find much poetry dealing with illn
Wes Hazard
My first encounter with Clifton, whose reputation, needless to say, preceded her. I have to admit I doubted for most of the first half of the book, grasping at something to really engage me, not finding many pieces that made me feel much of anything. But beginning with section 4 (of 5) I began to be steadily blown away by Clifton's command of myth & surprise, and her ability to offer the most brutal images in the most lyrical verse. Ex. from the poem lorena:
"it lay in my palm soft and trembl
Nov 19, 2008 Punk rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poetry. I bought this volume for the fox poems, specifically "telling our stories," which is my favorite. I've always liked Clifton's spare style and simple language, the sense of rhythm that makes her poems sound so good out loud, but a lot of these just didn't gel for me. I failed completely at the last section; it was way too Biblical and I lacked the references to complete the metaphor.

Some favorites: telling our stories, leaving fox, hag riding, from the cadaver, the mississippi river empti
Oct 25, 2009 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Clifton is a master of storytelling in few words. Whether she is writing about choosing whether or not to heed that inner voice telling her to record her stories (yes, even her terrible ones) through poetry, dealing with being diagnosed with breast cancer, or contemplating what it may have been like to be the biblical figure King David, her point and the lessons that she has learned shoot straight off of each page.
Jul 20, 2007 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poets, women, and other people possessing passion
Shelves: poetry
Lucille Clifton is one of my favorite poets, and this is my favorite collection of her poems. In it she beautifully imparts her struggles as a woman with breast cancer. Also intertwined with that are her observations on what it means to be a woman and how, if at all, she can still think of herself as such with only one breast.
Jul 04, 2007 Cecile rated it really liked it
Saw her read from this collection at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey in 1998. Like her poems, she is a powerful presence.
Aug 08, 2014 Jimmy rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry-authors
Her poems seem to me to be quite outdated. Like watching an old movie that time has not been good to.
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Jun 01, 2008 Lori Stoltz rated it it was amazing
Lucille is a sorceress of words and I keep going back to her books again and again.
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Dec 28, 2008
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Lucille Clifton was an American poet, writer, and educator from New York. Common topics in her poetry include the celebration of her African American heritage, and feminist themes, with particular emphasis on the female body.

She was the first person in her family to finish high school and attend college. She started Howard University on scholarship as a drama major but lost the scholarship two yea
More about Lucille Clifton...

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