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Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 (American Poets Continuum) Paperback – November 1, 1987

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Editorial Reviews Review

My favorite book, this is a must-have poetry collection for both poetry lovers and those who like to think but aren't comfortable with the density of some contemporary poetry. Clifton, as always, uses language that is accessible to craft situations real and vital to her readers. The section "Some Jesus" probes the emotions of plain folks faced with miracles; "Good Times" takes its own snapshots of family in days past; "I Agree with the Leaves" explores the curious and troubling realms of spirituality and the quest for "place" in the cosmos. Good Woman is a fine companion to Clifton's most recent book The Terrible Stories.


The 1st
The 70's
Adam And Eve
After Kent State
Anna Speaks Of The Childhood Of Mary Her Daughter
The Astrologer Predicts At Mary's Birth
At Last We Killed The Roaches
August The 12th
Aunt Agnes Hatcher Tells
Being Property Once Myself
The Bodies Broken On
Buffalo War
Ca'line's Prayer
The Calling Of The Disciples
Calming Kali
The Carver
Come Home From The Movies
The Coming Of Kali
Conversation With My Grandson, Waiting To Be Conceived
Cutting Greens
The Discoveries Of Fire
Driving Through New England
Easter Sunday
February 13,1980
For Delawd
For Her Hiding Place
For The Bird Who Flew Against Our Window One Morning
For The Blind
For The Lame
For The Mad
For The Mute
Forgiving My Father
Friends Come
God Send Easter
God Waits For The Wandering World
God's Mood
Good Friday
Good Times
Her Love Poem
Holy Night
Homage To My Hair
Homage To My Hips
How Is He Coming Then
I Am High On The Man Called Crazy
I Am Not Done Yet
I Am Running Into A New Year
I Once Knew A Man Who Had Wild Horses Killed
I Was Born In A Hotel
I Was Born With Twelve Fingers
I Went To The Valley
If He Ask You Was I Laughing
If I Stand In My Window
If Mama
If Something Should Happen
In Populated Air
In Salem
In The Evenings
In The Inner City
In This Garden
Island Mary
Jackie Robinson
The Kind Of Man He Is
Lane Is The Pretty One
Last Note To My Girls
Later I'll Say
Leanna's Poem
The Lesson Of The Falling Leaves
Let There Be New Flowering
The Light That Came To Lucille Clifton
Listen Children
The Lost Baby Poem
Love Rejected
Lucy And Her Girls
Lucy One-eye
The Making Of Poems
Mary Mary Astonished By God
Mary's Dream
The Meeting After The Savior Gone
More Than Once
Mother, I Am Mad
My Boys
My Daddy's Fingers Move Among The Couplers
My Friends
My Mama Moved Among The Days
My Poem
The Mystery That Surely Is Present
New Bones
New Year
The News
Now My First Wife Never Did Come Out Of Her Room
On The Birth Of Bomani
On The Death Of Allen's Son
The Once And Future Dead
Palm Sunday
Pity This Poor Animal
Poem For My Sisters
Poem On My Fortieth Birthday To My Mother Who Died Young
The Poet
Pork Chops
The Raising Of Lazarus
Richard Penniman
Running Across To The Lot
She Insists On Me
She Is Dreaming
She Understands Me
So Close
Some Dreams Hang In The Air
A Song Of Mary
Sonora Desert Poem
Speaking Of Loss
Spring Song
A Storm Poem
There Is A Girl Inside
The Thirty Eigth Year
This Morning
Those Boys That Ran Together
To A Dark Moses
To Bobby Seale
To Joan
To Merle
To Ms. Ann
To The Unborn And Waiting Children
To Thelma Who Worried Because I Couldn't Cook
Tyrone (1)
Tyrone (2)
Tyrone (3)
Tyrone (4)
A Visit To Gettysburg
The Way It Was
The Way It Was
What The Mirror Said
The White Boy
Willie B (1)
Willie B (2)
Willie B (3)
Willie B (4)
Wise: Having The Ability To Perceive And Adopt The Best
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

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Product Details

  • Series: American Poets Continuum (Book 14)
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: BOA Editions Ltd.; First Paperback Edition edition (November 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918526590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918526595
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucille Clifton was one of the most distinguished, decorated and beloved poets of her time. She won the National Book Award for Poetry for "Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000" and was the first African American female recipient of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Foundation. Ms. Clifton received many additional honors throughout her career, including the Discovery Award from the New York YW/YMHA Poetry Center in 1969 for her first collection "Good Times," a 1976 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for the television special "Free to Be You and Me," a Lannan Literary Award in 1994, and the Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 2010. Her honors and awards give testa­ment to the universality of her unique and resonant voice. She was named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library in 1996, served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and was elected a Fellow in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1987, she became the first author to have two books of poetry - "Good Woman" and "Next" - chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in the same year. She was also the author of eighteen children's books, and in 1984 received the Coretta Scott King Award from the American Library Association for her book "Everett Anderson's Good-bye."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love reading Lucille Clifton's poetry. I get a real sense of her person, her pain, her history. Some poems are so moving, I can't help but cry. I am stunned to find such fine wording, the way she knows just what word to use. Some of her word choices are unusual....they're not a way that one would have thought of that word, but in the context of the poem, the word finds a home, makes sense. Additionally, she expresses her appreciation of the earth in almost religious terms; her exploration of religion in her poetry is extremely appealing to me. She seems to have a sense of appreciation for, and sympathetic understanding of, the characters (Job, Moses especially) in the Bible, I feel closer to them myself when viewing them through her eyes. I like this book also because you feel the strength of the woman behind the words, she's wise, she's had her pain, but she's able to celebrate those things in life that are worth celebrating -- love, family, simple pleasures and even her own hair and hips. I love too many poems to list here, but you should go to your library and read these poems; even if you don't buy the book, these poems should find a place in your life: Salt, The Lesson of the Falling Leaves, Mary, Cutting many more. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Debra Elisabeth Glassco on October 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Lucille Clifton has always been one of my favorite poets. Her accessible poetry captures in moving, eloquent verse living in the world. Her unique voice speaks in language that is not unnecessarily dense and "cerebral": an especially desirable trait given the frequently written complaint regarding lack of readership for modern poetry. Lucille Clifton writes poetry we ALL can relate to, not just the academics and, to be a little unkind, poetry "snobs". Recommended highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CB on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Lucille Clifton is my aunt, my father's sister. However, my father was absent, so to me, this book is more than a collection of poems or casual redaing but a true gift of my own family history in black and white, a history that I wasn't aware of. Now that I it has given me strength. My friends and I summon up my aunt's namesake, the ORIGINAL Lucille (!)anytime we need to lay down the law! Thank you Aunt Lucille for your gift and for this gift to me.
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By Lisa M Panepinto on April 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
lucille clifton's poems mesmerize us with vivid imagery, powerful honesty and dreamy melodies. deceptively simple, clifton's short poems contain entire landscapes, histories, declarations and songs of myself. the beautiful language coalesces into deep metaphors and brave truths about race, slavery, war, sexism and civil rights.

in humanizing the exploited earth, clifton humanizes exploited people. she returns us to our ancient and innate humanity where we come from the sun, putting forth healing energy.

the lack of punctuation and capitalization gives the poems in good woman a streamlined immediacy. each line break is music that produces a complete sensation.

clifton makes us sympathetic to the view that everyone should be allowed to be who they are: the tree, the woman,the man, the rain.

lucille clifton is one of our most beloved poetry ancestors
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joey Rodriguez on September 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lucille Clifton's GOOD WOMAN is an excellent volume of poetry. Moreover, the memoir challenges the traditional exercise of writing the self and experience that merits articulation. Clifton's poems and imagery rarely disappoint, but name the unspoken and bring greater consciousness and empowerment.
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