Homage to Lucille Clifton

Driving the kids home from school this afternoon, I listened to a 1983 recording of Lucille Clifton reading her poem, “Homage to My Hips”.  I laughed, banged on the steering wheel, and said, “Now THAT’s a great poem!”

Check it out:

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

Better yet, watch Lucille’s reading: http://vimeo.com/36987057

I often feel I have no business writing.  Who on earth would find my dribble interesting?  Who do I think I am?  This whole writing thing is just a symptom of my narcissism. 

Then I hear someone like Lucille read her poem.  I will never write a poem like one of Lucille’s.  But guess what?  Only Lucille could do that.  She has her voice.  And thank goodness she does.  Thank goodness she had the grit to write and share her homage to her hips – otherwise I would have missed out on a knee-slapping good time in the car this afternoon.

Lucille, thanks for reminding me that I have my voice.  It may not be as great as yours, but it’s all mine.  I have a poem in me every day, if I’ll just listen for it. 


One thought on “Homage to Lucille Clifton

  1. corinne

    Merci, Alison, pour ce moment de poesie tres amusant et interessant! J’ai adore regarder la video (plusieurs fois….)


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