Tuesday, June 25, 2013

News at Eleven: The earlier poem was good,

but this one, with its three brutal closing couplets, is much better. To steadily escalate a poem's intensity when each stanza seems to have hit the heights is difficult. [Lucille] Clifton does so by raising the stakes. She is clear about the psychic cost of what needs to be done to live better, or to live well at all, such as clearing out of the way unwanted living things. She herself had seen the matter from both sides. This is the third of four parts of "aunt agnes hatcher tells," from two-headed woman (1980):

from The Nation: Unsparing Truths: On Lucille Clifton


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