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
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Lucille Clifton's Blessing the Boats is a collection of new poems with selected poems previously published in Quilting, The Book of Light, and The Terrible Stories. Read morePublished on April 9, 2010 by leolori0819
What a breathtaking poet. This has quickly become one of my fave collections. Clifton is amazingly succinct and deftly descriptive. A beautiful woman, beautiful poems.Published on September 7, 2009 by D. Hugueley
Paul L. McGehee
Clichés are literary sins, so Lord forgive me when I say Lucile Clifton's Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000, is a... Read more
Clifton exemplifies all that is wrong with modern poetry. This is preachy, PC prose, with some odd linefeeds thrown in, written in the currently popular style, addressing the... Read morePublished on December 18, 2005 by Nadia van Cloce
Let me start by saying that I have loved Lucille Clifton's poetry for years, since I was first introduced to her work in an anthology. Read morePublished on July 2, 2001