Reviewer 'travels' with Lucille Clifton 'in her afterlife'
"Though the poet is three years dead, her shiny, sly, red-lipped brown face looks up at me in the morning from her book jacket by my bed. Her smile undresses all my foolishness. Her name is Lucille Clifton, and if this were a wiser country, it would be known even to school children." Reviewer Robert Hirschfield asserts this praise and more in a heartfelt Matador Network | Travel Culture Worldwide review of The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010. In his piece, "Traveling with poet Lucille Clifton in her afterlife," Hirschfield says he reads the "Collected Clifton" almost religiously. "Clifton’s poems are a lot like prayers," he says. "Prayers that bind together darkness and light. Racism and the need to remember, and to somehow forgive. Sexual abuse and the need to remember, and to somehow forgive the fatherperpetrator. Dying and the need to live." Hirschfield bows in gratitude and respect to the late poet: "Clifton is the poet of loss and the resurrected life loss gives birth to... The poet gave us not just her mountain, but her flares, and the laughter from her mountain’s heart, as when she lays down her burden at the feet of Clark Kent." Quoting Lucille Clifton's "final note to clark": they had it wrong, the old comics. you are only clark kent after all. oh, mild mannered mister, why did I think you could fix it? how you must have wondered to see me taking chances, dancing on the edge of words, pointing out the bad guys, dreaming your x-ray vision could see the beauty in me. what did i expect? what did i hope for? we are who we are, two faithful readers, not wonder woman and not superman. Hirschfield says, "Just as Clark Kent couldn’t fly until he became Superman, Lucille Clifton couldn’t fly until she became a poet." Read Hirschfield's full review, here. Click here to purchase The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010. Matador Network | Travel Culture Worldwide is an independent media company and nexus of travel culture worldwide. The organization launched in 2006 with the vision for a travel site and community based not on “airline reservations and hotel rooms” but the real cultures, people, and places we encounter, as well as a broader global discussion of historical, political, and socioeconomic realities that inform our lives as travelers.
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