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June 27 1936-February 13 2010 LUCILLE CLIFTON. Lucille Clifton Born in Depew, New York mother was vocational poet Inspired by her children, Afro-American.

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Presentation on theme: "June 27 1936-February 13 2010 LUCILLE CLIFTON. Lucille Clifton Born in Depew, New York mother was vocational poet Inspired by her children, Afro-American."— Presentation transcript:

1 June February LUCILLE CLIFTON

2 Lucille Clifton Born in Depew, New York mother was vocational poet Inspired by her children, Afro-American ancestry, heritage and culture, especially by her mother her poems commonly reflect both her ethnic pride and her womanist principles Poems reflect breaking with Euro-centric conventions

3 the thirty eighth year of my life plain as bread round as cake. an ordinary woman. i had expected to be smaller than this, more beautiful, wiser in afrikan ways, more confident, i had expected more than this. ille-clifton-reads-an-ordinary-woman/ Analysis of section upset with her normal life Struggling with her weight wishes she was more “Afrikan” contrast of Western vs. Afrikan values All lower case letters concise- helps to convey Weight concepts in different parts of world anaphora- repetition of “i had expected” piece actually untitled

4 the thirty eighth year i will be forty soon. my mother was once forty. my mother died at forty four, a woman of sad countenance leaving behind a girl awkward as a stork. my mother was thick, her hair was a jungle and she was very wise and beautiful and sad. Analysis of section nostalgia at past helps develop the image of her mother analyzing her ancestry we see why her mother would be a woman of sad countenance describes how “awkward” she was without her mother, trying to find her own way metaphor of “hair was jungle” helps develop her sense of Afrikan heritage

5 the thirty eighth year i have dreamed dreams for you mama more than once i have wrapped me in your skin and made you live again more than once I have taken the bones you hardened and have built daughters and they blossom and promise like afrikan trees. i am a woman now. and ordinary woman. in the thirty eighth year of my life, surrounded by life, a perfect picture of blackness blessed, i had not expected this loneliness lack of conventions again show separation from convention- parallels her feelings of separation from everyone else talking to her mother- the poet- the one who understood her imagery describes a perfect life, she still feels alone when she describes her living in her mothers skin though her apostrophe, she is referring to continuing the poetic heritage metaphor of daughters and afrikan trees helps when she talks to her mother to show she still has her afrikan heritage expresses her emotion and how much she misses her mother

6 the thirty eighth year if it is western, if it is the final europe in my mind, if in the middle of my life i am turning in the final turn into the shining dark let me come to it whole and holy not afraid not lonely out of my mother’s life into my own. i had expected more than this. i had not expected to be an ordinary woman she feels strange, but is embracing certain “European”/western thoughts ideas of individualism she feels a sense of overly conform lifestyle she wants to be her own person- separate from the person her mother was she realizes it is right to be different, “not afraid and not lonely” oxymoron of shining dark refers to the unknown of being her own person she is still very much talking to her mother, how she is like her and has accomplished much, and wants to accomplish more, in her own unique way… “into her own”

7 the thirty eighth year overall, describes her desire to be her own person she is a unique Afro-American contrasting Western and African values she speaks for herself, and herself alone she feels alone in the world due to her lack of guidance from her mother deceptively simple in language, yet complex in ideas

8 the thirty eighth year Clifton rejects the normal Clifton wants to be more than an “ordinary woman”- one who acquiesces to the social norms of women looks to attain social empowerment by being her own woman common themes in “The Scarlet Letter”- individualism similar to Frederick Douglass’ autobiography- fighting the social norms of our fathers


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