Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton, a National Book Award winner and twice a Pulitzer Prize finalist, died Saturday. Ms Clifton was born born into a working-class family in Depew, NY 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. During her long, highly productive career, Clifton became known as a distinctive writer who identified herself forcefully as a mother and a black woman. She published 11 poetry collections and 20 children's books. In 2007, Lucille Clifton,was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Several years ago she had donated her papers to Emory University's special collections library. These were just made public after her death.

The poem below is from the Library's database, Proquest Learning: Literature.

I Take My Glasses Off

it is the hard

edge of things

i am avoiding

the separations

so that i take my glasses off

and then i cannot tell

which are the leaves

and which the angels

like blake

like that man

who lived with lepers

not noticing what was sin

and what was grace

visioning visions vision

i take my glasses off

so i can see

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