Lucille Clifton is an American poet and author of children's books. Clifton was born in Depew, New York, in 1936. Her parents were from working-class. Clifton is an outstanding person in American poetry. Her poetry is a poetry of birth, society, death, spirituality, and history. Clifton explicates these themes with passion, anger, and humor. Characteristically Clifton creates technically accomplished poems that use neither punctuation nor capitalization. She expresses her strong thoughts through the common language because of this her poetry is available to a wide audience. Her first poetry collection Good Times was hailed as one of the best books of 1969 by the New York Times.
Her book Quilting written in 1987-1990 was absolutely successful. Clifton uses a quilt as a poetic metaphor for life. Tiny pieces of experience tightly stitched into a new fabric. In this book, each poem is a story, bound together through history and figuratively sewn with the thread of experience. The poems show matriarchy, feminine strengths, and the individual. It is considered that the main Clifton’s focus was on women's history.
So, Clifton skilfully brings together poems that entertain, inform, and encourage. Clifton’s poems "Eve's version" and "A woman who loves" brilliantly shows the quilting process where the material is re-worked to show the perspective that is female. In "Eve's version”, we can see the negative issues of the fall of mankind in Christian traditions. The ancient Greeks believed that the power of love and procreation belongs to women. Christian doctrine subverts female power by saying that Eve is associated with the fall of man. It is suggested that Lucifer was able to control Eve. Therefore, Eve has to be protected because she can’t resist the evil. As a punishment, she has to submit to the rule of her husband. In this poem, we can see the feminist dynamic in Clifton’s works.
"A woman who loves" shows the modern female condition and shows how feminist power has been subverted. In this poem, Clifton gives directions to women who are locked behind windows and can’t tell their own unique story. Women also play a very significant role in today's richly diverse culture. Lucille Clifton's Quilting shows the feminist dynamic, which is available to all women.
So feminism in her work is brilliantly shown and easily seen. Lucille Clifton died on February 13, 2010 at the age of 73.
Lucille Clifton is an American poet and author of children's books. Clifton was born in Depew, New York, in 1936. Her parents were from working-class. Clifton is an outstanding person in American poetry. Her poetry is a poetry of birth, society, death, spirituality, and history. Clifton explicates these themes with passion, anger, and humor.