Friday, August 6, 2010

Blessing the Boats, a poem by Lucille Clifton.

Post 537 - Lucille Clifton (Sayles) was born in 1936, in Depew, New York and moved to Buffalo with her family early on in her life. She won a scholarship to Howard University in Washington D.C. and then transferred to Fredonia State Teachers College. When Clifton was attending Fredonia, she was also experimenting and exploring poetry, drama, and other various things that went on to shape her writing. Also at Fredonia Clifton met her future husband, Fred Clifton, who at the time was a philosophy professor at the University of Buffalo. Clifton had six children with Fred and they were happily married until 1984 when Fred passed away.

Clifton is one of the most accomplished women in the literary world. Owner of Pulitzer Prize nominations for poetry in 1980, 1987, and 1991, the Lannan Literary Award for poetry in 1997, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in 1997, the Los Angeles Times Poetry Award in 1997, the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Award in 1999, and the National Book Award for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000 (2000) also a National Book Award nomination for The Terrible Stories (1996). She’s also been awarded honorary degrees from Colby College, the University of Maryland, Towson State University, Washington College, and Albright College.

Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton.

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love you back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that.

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