Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

Farewell to Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936- February 13, 2010)

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message 1: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments Mod
Very sad news - the great poet Lucille Clifton died today. Although she was the recipient of numerous awards, including Pulitzer Prize nominations, many of us knew her first from her poems and books for children. Here she is, reading her poem "won't you celebrate with me".

And here's one I love:

Listen Children

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

we have been ashamed
hopeless tired mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children all ways

pass it on

message 2: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 191 comments Thanks for this, Mina. She was a great lady. Love this one, Listen Children.

message 3: by jo (new)

jo | 1019 comments tayari jones posted this amazing poem on her blog ; gives me the shivers:

here rests

my sister Josephine
born in '29
and dead these 15 years
who carried a book on every stroll.

when daddy was dying
she left the streets
and moved him back home
to tend him.

her pimp came too
her Diamond Dick
and they would take turns

a bible aloud through the house.
when you poem this
and you will, she would say
remember the Book of Job.

happy birthday and hope
to you Jospehine
one of the easts
most wanted.

may heaven be filled
with literate men
may they bed you
with respect.

message 4: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments Mod
So many great poems.

message 5: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 191 comments I have to go find a collection now.

message 6: by Mistinguette (new)

Mistinguette Smith | 191 comments Hazel, I recommend "Blessing the Boats".

Ms. Clifton was an incredible teacher, a poet of deceptively transparent craft, a deeply humble person, and keen observer of the cracks in all of our souls. Of all my writing teachers, she offered me the greatest gift: she helped me to understand the conditions that are necessary for me to produce creatively.

Although her health had been delicate for many years, hearing that she passed still left me breathless. May we call out her name among our most honored ancestors, and breathe life into her body of work by reading it aloud, often.

message 7: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 191 comments Amen.

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