Lucille Clifton | Critical Essay by Alicia Ostriker

This literature criticism consists of approximately 17 pages of analysis & critique of Lucille Clifton.
This section contains 5,005 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Kin and Kin: The Poetry of Lucille Clifton," in American Poetry Review, Vol. 22, No. 6, November/December 1993, pp. 41-8.

Here poet and critic Ostriker calls Clifton a minimalist artist whose small poems encompass grand themes.

Lucille Clifton's writing is deceptively simple. The poems are short, unrhymed, the lines typically between four and two beats. The sentences are usually declarative and direct, the punctuation light, the diction a smooth mix of standard English with varying styles and degrees of black vernacular. Almost nothing (including "i" and beginnings of sentences) is capitalized. Some poems have titles, others do not, a fact which may disconcert the reader, and is probably intended to. Marilyn Hacker has written that Clifton's poems remind her, in grace and deftness, of Japanese ink drawings. They remind me of a drum held in a woman's lap. The woman sits on a plain wooden chair...

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This section contains 5,005 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Alicia Ostriker
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Alicia Ostriker from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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