Go Back and Fetch It

To understand the great body of work that Lucille Clifton left after her death in 2010—the evolving body, for more poems are being excavated all the time—you must understand that Black history informs much of her work. There is the generous verse she offered everyone, regardless of racial or gender identification. This was her benediction, and because of that gift, many want to read disembodied, deracinated impulses in Clifton’s poems, seeking a so-called universal meaning.


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