Lucille Clifton

(June 27, 1936 - February 13, 2010 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Quotations

  • ''Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language.''
    Lucille Clifton (b. 1936), U.S. poet. As quoted in Listen to Their Voices, ch. 9, by Mickey Pearlman (1993).
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  • ''My Mama has made bread
    and Grampaw has come
    and everybody is drunk
    and dancing in the kitchen''
    Lucille Clifton (b. 1936), U.S. poet. Good Times (l. 9-12). . . Poetry of Black America, The; Anthology of the 20th Century. Arnold Adoff, ed. (1973) Harper & Row.

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memory

ask me to tell how it feels
remembering your mother's face
turned to water under the white words
of the man at the shoe store. ask me,
though she tells it better than i do,
not because of her charm
but because it never happened
she says,
no bully salesman swaggering,

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