Blessing the boats New and selected poems, 1988-2000

Lucille Clifton, 1936-2010

Book - 2000

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 811.54/Clifton Checked In
Rochester, NY : BOA Editions 2000.
Main Author
Lucille Clifton, 1936-2010 (-)
1st ed
Physical Description
132 p. ; 23 cm
  • new poems (2000)
  • from next (1988)
  • from quilting (1991)
  • from the book of light (1993)
  • from The Terrible Stories (1996)
Review by Booklist Review

Birds and foxes appear in Clifton's poems, and it's easy to see why their quicksilver energy and grace, their bright knowingness and oneness with the earth, appeal to her: when she puts pen to paper, she is their sister. Clifton's poems are lean, agile, and accurate, and there is beauty in their directness and efficiency, an element, too, of surprise. New poems set this powerful volume in motion, and just like her much-praised earlier work, they address the tragic and the inexplicable. Clifton writes about children killing children, a father abusing a daughter, white men killing black men, and other confounding forms of madness. She ponders mysteries both immediate and theological, including cancer's voraciousness, banishment from the Garden of Eden, and Lazarus' return to the land of the living, and she approaches them with pleasing matter-of-factness. Clifton is valiant and curious, saddened but seasoned. There is strength in these spare yet musical poems, and faith in the power of expression. --Donna Seaman

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Clifton's poems owe a great deal to oral tradition. Her work is wonderfully musical and benefits greatly from being read aloud: "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." Her keen sense of rhythm, of the sound, tone, and texture of words, is delightful, a rare find in this day and age. The language is crystal clear and deceptively accessible. The poems are personal, but the distant thunder of history rumbles behind every line. As she says on seeing a photograph: "is it the cut glass/ of their eyes/ looking up toward/ the new gnarled branch/ of the black man/ hanging from a tree?" Clifton's work hearkens back to the days of the Black Arts Movement and sheds light on the new black aesthetic. These are economical slices of ordinary life, celebrations, if you will, of African American existence. With simple language and common sense, she writes of grace, character, and race by way of the personal and familiar. Clifton's voice, her unique vision and wisdom, make this book essential for any serious poetry collection.--Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.