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The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

By Lucille Clifton & Toni Morrison &
The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 by Lucille Clifton & Toni Morrison &  digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description


Foreword: Lucille Clifton by Toni Morrison

good times

in the inner city_ 2
my mamma moved among the days_ 3
my daddy’s fingers move among the couplers_ 4
lane is the pretty one_5
miss rosie_6
robert_ 7
the 1st_ 8
running across to the lot_ 9
still_ 10
good times_ 11
if i stand in my window_ 12
stops_ 13
the discoveries of fire_ 14
those boys that ran together_ 15
pity this poor animal_ 16
the white boy_ 17
the meeting after the savior gone_ 18
for deLawd_ 19
ca’line’s prayer_ 20
if he ask you was i laughing_ 21
if something should happen_ 22
generations_ 23
love rejected_ 24
tyrone (1)_ 25
willie b (1)_ 26
tyrone (2)_ 27
willie b (2)_ 28
tyrone (3)_ 29
willie b (3)_ 30
tyrone (4)_31
willie b (4)_ 32
buffalo war_ 33
flowers_ 34
pork chops_ 35
now my first wife never did come out of her room_ 36
the way it was_ 37
admonitions_ 38

good news about the earth

about the earth

after kent state_ 41
being property once myself_ 42
the way it was_ 43
the lost baby poem_ 44
later i’ll say_ 45
apology_ 46
lately_ 47
the ‘70s_ 48
listen children_ 49
driving through new england_ 50
the news_ 51
the bodies broken on_ 52
song_ 53
prayer_ 54


africa_ 56
i am high on the man called crazy_ 57
earth_ 58
for the bird who flew against our window one morning and broke his natural neck_ 59
God send easter_ 60
so close_ 61
wise: having the ability to perceive and adopt the best means for accomplishing an end_ 62
malcolm_ 63
eldridge_ 64
to bobby seale_ 65
for her hiding place_ 66
richard penniman_ 67
daddy_ 68
poem for my sisters_ 69
the kind of man he is_ 70

some jesus

adam and eve_ 72
cain_ 73
moses_ 74
solomon_ 75
job_ 76
daniel_ 77
jonah_ 78
john_ 79
mary_ 80
joseph_ 81
the calling of the disciples_ 82
the raising of lazarus_ 83
palm sunday_ 84
good friday_ 85
easter sunday_ 86
spring song_ 87

an ordinary woman


in salem_ 90
sisters_ 91
leanna’s poem_ 92
on the birth of bomani_ 93
salt_ 94
a storm poem_ 95
God’s mood_ 96
new bones_ 97
harriet_ 98
roots_ 99
come home from the movies_ 100
to ms. ann_ 101
my boys_ 102
last note to my girls_ 103
a visit to gettysburg_ 104
monticello_ 105
to a dark moses_ 106
Kali_ 107
this morning_ 108

i agree with the leaves

the lesson of the falling leaves_ 110
i am running into a new year_ 111
the coming of Kali_ 112
she insists on me_ 113
she understands me_ 114
she is dreaming_ 115
her love poem_ 116
calming Kali_ 117
i am not done yet_ 118
the poet_ 119
turning_ 120
my poem_ 121
lucy one-eye_ 122
if mama_ 123
i was born in a hotel_ 124
light_ 125
cutting greens_ 126
jackie robinson_ 127
i went to the valley_ 128
at last we killed the roaches_ 129
in the evenings_ 130
breaklight_ 131
some dreams hang in the air_ 132
the carver_ 133
let there be new flowering_ 134
the thirty eighth year_ 135

two-headed woman

homage to mine

lucy and her girls_ 139
i was born with twelve fingers_ 140
homage to my hair_ 141
homage to my hips_ 142
what the mirror said_ 143
there is a girl inside_ 144
to merle_ 145
august the 12th_ 146
on the death of allen’s son_ 147
speaking of loss_ 148
to thelma who worried because i couldn’t cook_ 149
poem on my fortieth birthday to my mother who died young_ 150
feburary 13, 1980_ 151
forgiving my father_ 152
to the unborn and waiting children_ 153
aunt agnes hatcher tells_ 154
the once and future dead_ 155

two-headed woman

in this garden_ 157
the making of poems_ 158
new year_ 159
sonora desert poem_ 160
my friends_ 161
wife_ 162
i once knew a man_ 163
angels_ 164
conversation with my grandson, waiting to be conceived_ 165
the mystery that surely is present_ 166
the astrologer predicts at mary’s birth_ 167
anna speaks of the childhood of mary her daughter_ 168
mary’s dream_ 169
how he is coming then_ 170
holy night_ 171
a song of mary_ 172
island mary_ 173
mary mary astonished by god_ 174
for the blind_ 175
for the mad_ 176
for the lame_ 177
for the mute_ 178
God waits for the wandering world_ 179
the light that came to lucille clifton_ 180

the light that came to lucille clifton

testament_ 182
incandescence_ 183
mother, i am mad_ 184
perhaps_ 185
explanations_ 186
friends come_ 187
to joan_ 188
confession_ 189
in populated air_ 190


we are all next

album_ 193
winnie song_194
there_ 195
what spells raccoon to me_ 196
this belief_ 197
why some people be mad at me sometimes_ 198
sorrow song_ 199
I. creation_ 200
I. at gettysburg_ 201
I. at nagasaki_ 202
I. at jonestown_ 203
atlantic is a sea of bones_ 204
cruelty. don’t talk to me about cruelty_ 205
the woman in the camp_ 206
the lost women_ 207
4 daughters_ 208
grown daughter_ 209
here is another bone to pick with you_ 210
female_ 211
if our grandchild be a girl_ 212
this is the tale_ 213
my dream about being white_ 214
my dream about the cows_ 215
my dream about time_ 216
my dream about falling_ 217
my dream about the second coming_ 218
my dream about God_ 219
my dream about the poet_ 220
morning mirror_ 221

or next

the death of crazy horse_ 223
crazy horse names his daughter_ 224
crazy horse instructs the young men but in their grief they forget_ 225
the message of crazy horse_ 226
the death of thelma sayles_ 227
lives_ 228
the message of thelma sayles_ 229
the death of joanne c._ 230
enter my mother_ 231
leukemia as white rabbit_ 232
incantation_ 233
chemotherapy_ 234
she won’t ever forgive me_ 235
the one in the next bed is dying_ 236
leukemia as dream/ritual_ 237
the message of jo_ 238
chorus: lucille_ 239
the death of fred clifton_ 240
“i’m going back to my true identity”_ 241
my wife_ 242
the message of fred clifton_ 243


in white America

1 i come to read them poems_ 245
2 the history_ 246
3 the tour_ 247
4 the hall_ 248
5 the reading_ 249
6 it is late_ 250

shapeshifter poems

1 the legend is whispered_ 251
2 who is there to protect her_ 252
3 if the little girl lies_253
4 the poem at the end of the world_ 254

california lessons

1 geography_ 255
2 history_ 256
3 botany_ 257
4 semantics_ 258
5 metaphysics_ 259


[section titles are taken from the names of traditional quilt designs]

quilting _ 261

log cabin

“i am accused of tending to the past…”_ 263
note to my self_ 264
poem beginning in no and ending in yes_ 265
february 11, 1990_ 266
at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina,1989_ 267
slave cabin, sotterly plantation, maryland, 1989_ 268
white lady_ 269
memo_ 270
reply_ 271
whose side are you on?_ 272
shooting star_ 273
poem with rhyme in it_ 274
eyes_ 275
defending my tongue_ 278

catalpa flower

from the wisdom of sister brown_ 280
the birth of language_ 281
we are running_ 282
what the grass knew_ 283
nude photograph_ 284
“this is for the mice that live…”_ 285
sleeping beauty_ 286
“a woman who loves…”_ 287
man and wife_ 288
poem in praise of menstruation_ 289
peeping tom_ 290
ways you are not like oedipus_ 291
the killing of the trees_ 292
questions and answers_ 294
november 21, 1988_ 295
the beginning of the end of the world_ 296
the last day_297

eight-pointed star

wild blessings_ 299
“somewhere…”_ 300
“when i stand around among poets…”_ 301
water sign woman_ 302
photograph_ 303
grandma, we are poets_ 304
december 7, 1989_ 306
to my friend, jerina_ 307
lot’s wife 1988_ 308
fat fat
water rat_ 309
poem to my uterus_ 310
to my last period_ 311
wishes for sons_ 312
the mother’s story_ 313
in which i consider the fortunate deaf_ 314
4/25/89 late_ 315
“as he was dying…”_ 316
night sound_ 317
“the spirit walks in…”_ 318
after the reading_ 319
moonchild_ 320

tree of life

“oh where have you fallen to…”_ 322
remembering the birth of lucifer_ 323
whispered to lucifer_ 324
eve’s version_ 325
lucifer understanding at last_ 326
the garden of delight_ 327
adam thinking_ 328
eve thinking_ 329
the story thus far_ 330
lucifer speaks in his own voice_ 331


blessing the boats_ 333

The Book of Light



climbing_ 337
june 20_ 338
daughters_ 339
sam_ 340
my lost father_ 341
thel_ 342
imagining bear_ 343
c.c. rider_ 344
11/10 again_ 345
she lived_ 346
for roddy_ 347
them and us_ 348
the women you are accustomed to_ 349
song at

7 Reviews


About Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton: Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, on June 27, 1936. Her first book of poems, Good Times, was rated one of the best books of the year by the New York Times in 1969.

Clifton remained employed in state and federal government positions until 1971, when she became a writer in residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland, where she completed two collections: Good News About the Earth (1972) and An Ordinary Woman (1974).

She went on to write several other collections of poetry, including Voices (BOA Editions, 2008); Mercy (2004); Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 (2000), which won the National Book Award; The Terrible Stories (1995), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Book of Light (1993); Quilting: Poems 1987-1990 (1991); Next: New Poems (1987)

Her collection Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 (1987) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; Two-Headed Woman (1980), also a Pulitzer Prize nominee, was the recipient of the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prize. She has also written Generations: A Memoir (1976) and more than sixteen books for children, written expressly for an African-American audience.

Lucille Clifton's honors include an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a Lannan Literary Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Shelley Memorial Award, the YM-YWHA Poetry Center Discovery Award, and the 2007 Ruth Lilly Prize.

In 1999, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

After a long battle with cancer, Lucille Clifton died on February 13, 2010, at the age of 73.

Toni Morrison: Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.

Kevin Young: Kevin Young is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebellion, out from Knopf in January 2011. His Jelly Roll: A Blues, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize. He is the editor of five volumes, including 2010's The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing; his book The Grey Album: Music, Shadows, Lies won the 2010 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and is forthcoming in 2012. He is the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University in Atlanta.

Michael S. Glaser: Michael Glaser served as Poet Laureate of Maryland, from August 2004 through August 2009. He graduated from Denison University with a B.A. and from Kent State University with a M.A. and Ph.D. He began teaching at St. Mary's College of Maryland in 1970, retired and became a Professor Emeritus in 2008. He has published six collections of poetry and edited two anthologies. Dr. Glaser was Lucille Clifton's longtime friend and assistant.

Michael S. Glaser

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