art, Black History Month, Fiction, literature, poems, poetry, poetry readings, Women, writing

Poem to my uterus by Lucille Clifton (Friday Night Poetry Corner 195)

 

 

 

 

Welcome to a Black History Month Friday Night Poetry Corner—-

 

Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936 in Depew, New York – February 13, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland) was an American poet, writer, and educator from Buffalo, New York.  From 1979 to 1985 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. Clifton was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.  Lucille Clifton (born Thelma Lucille Sayles, in Depew, New York) grew up in Buffalo, New York, and graduated from Fosdick-Masten Park High School in 1953.  She attended Howard University with a scholarship from 1953 to 1955, leaving to study at the State University of New York at Fredonia (near Buffalo).

In 1958, Lucille Sayles married Fred James Clifton, a professor of philosophy at the University at Buffalo, and a sculptor whose carvings depicted African faces. Lucille and her husband had six children together, which included four daughters (Sidney, Fredrica, Gillian, and Alexia) and two sons (Channing and Graham). Lucille worked as a claims clerk in the New York State Division of Employment, Buffalo (1958–60), and as literature assistant in the Office of Education in Washington, D.C. (1960–71). Writer Ishmael Reed introduced Lucille to Clifton while he was organizing the Buffalo Community Drama Workshop. Fred and Lucille Clifton starred in the group’s version of The Glass Menagerie, which was called “poetic and sensitive” by the Buffalo Evening News.

In 1966, Reed took some of Clifton’s poems to Langston Hughes, who included them in his anthology The Poetry of the Negro. In 1967, the Cliftons moved to Baltimore, Maryland.  Her first poetry collection, Good Times, was published in 1969, and listed by The New York Times as one of the year’s ten best books. From 1971 to 1974, Clifton was poet-in-residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore. From 1979 to 1985, she was Poet Laureate of the state of Maryland.  From 1982 to 1983, she was visiting writer at the Columbia University School of the Arts and at George Washington University. In 1984, her husband died of cancer.

From 1985 to 1989, Clifton was a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She was Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. From 1995 to 1999, she was a visiting professor at Columbia University. In 2006, she was a fellow at Dartmouth College.

 

 

Poem to my uterus

 

You uterus
you have been patient
as a sock
while i have slippered into you
my dead and living children
now
they want to cut you out
stocking i will not need
where i am going
where am i going
old girl
without you
uterus
my bloody print
my estrogen kitchen
my black bag of desire
where can i go
barefoot
without you
where can you go
without me
Lucille Clifton

dark poetry, Fiction, life, literature, poems, poetry, poetry readings, Women, Women's History Month, writer, writing

A Story For Rose On The Midnight Flight To Boston-Friday Night Poetry Corner #167

Good day everyone and welcome to another Friday Night Poetry Corner! Continuing with the theme of Women History Month, here is a famous poet who brief introduction is this:

Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974) was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Her poetry details her long battle with depression, suicidal tendencies, and various intimate details from her private life, including her relationships with her husband and children.

 

I was first introduced to Anne Sexton in college and I enjoyed her poetry immensely. Here is a personal favorite of mines and I hope you guys will enjoy…

A Story For Rose On The Midnight Flight To Boston

Until tonight they were separate specialties,

different stories, the best of their own worst.

Riding my warm cabin home, I remember Betsy’s

laughter; she laughed as you did, Rose, at the first

story. Someday, I promised her, I’ll be someone

going somewhere and we plotted it in the humdrum

school for proper girls. The next April the plane

bucked me like a horse, my elevators turned

and fear blew down my throat, that last profane

gauge of a stomach coming up. And then returned

to land, as unlovely as any seasick sailor,

sincerely eighteen; my first story, my funny failure.

Maybe Rose, there is always another story,

better unsaid, grim or flat or predatory.

Half a mile down the lights of the in-between cities

turn up their eyes at me. And I remember Betsy’s

story, the April night of the civilian air crash

and her sudden name misspelled in the evening paper,

the interior of shock and the paper gone in the trash

ten years now. She used the return ticket I gave her.

This was the rude kill of her; two planes cracking

in mid-air over Washington, like blind birds.

And the picking up afterwards, the morticians tracking

bodies in the Potomac and piecing them like boards

to make a leg or a face. There is only her miniature

photograph left, too long now for fear to remember.

Special tonight because I made her into a story

that I grew to know and savor.

A reason to worry,

Rose, when you fix an old death like that,

and outliving the impact, to find you’ve pretended.

We bank over Boston. I am safe. I put on my hat.

I am almost someone going home. The story has ended.

 

 

by Anne Sexton

Fiction, life, literature, poems, poetry, poetry readings, Sexuality, Uncategorized, Women, writer, writing

Untitled poetry (Friday Night Poetry Corner #160)

Got Melanin?
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People, people!! Listen but more importantly—read. This is another segment of the Friday Night Poetry Corner. This week, a smart, expressive poet name leona rising wrote this joint that you just need to read and let me know what you think. In more apparent fashion, leave comments, please!  Oh, this is the first time I ever feature a poem without a title.  A first in four years, crazy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

leona rising

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