Lucille Clifton Poems

Lucille Clifton was a widely read and respected American poet. Her work was promoted by Langston Hughes in The Poetry of the Negro. Her work often focuses on adversity and the experience of Black women in the United States. She won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize to Clifton in 2007 and was the first author to have two books of poetry chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

won’t you celebrate with me

by Lucille Clifton

‘won’t you celebrate with me’ by Lucille Clifton addresses racism and inherent gender inequality. The speaker has overcome every hurdle and modeled herself in her own image.

This poem is considered a powerful and significant poem in Lucille Clifton's body of work, and many readers and literary critics appreciate its themes of determination, resilience, and celebration of the self in the face of adversity. The poem's use of spare language, free verse structure, and straightforward tone also makes it accessible to a wide range of readers.

won't you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

Explore more poems from Lucille Clifton

At Last We Killed The Roaches

by Lucille Clifton

‘At Last We Killed The Roaches’ by Lucille Clifton is a thoughtful poem about an experience in a speaker’s childhood with roaches. Read a complete summary and analysis of the poem.

good times

by Lucille Clifton

‘good times’ was first published in 1969 and is a wonderful example of Clifton’s work. The poem’s form, language, and

homage to my hips

by Lucille Clifton

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Lucille Clifton was one of the leading voices in the Civil Rights and feminist movements. In ‘homage

oh antic God

by Lucille Clifton

oh antic God by Lucille Clifton explores the yearning for a lost parent, Clifton remembering her mother and wanting to

The Death of Fred Clifton

by Lucille Clifton

This poem is about the death of Lucille Clifton’s husband, Fred James Clifton, who passed away on 11 October 1984 at the age of 49. It evokes the spirit of Fred and describes his discovery of something new.

to my last period

by Lucille Clifton

‘to my last period’ by Lucille Clifton is a thoughtful poem. In it, the speaker mourns for her lost youth and acknowledges further changes to come. 

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