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Blessing the Boats - From The Terrible Stories (1996), "memphis" Summary & Analysis

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From The Terrible Stories (1996), "memphis" Summary

This poem is subtitled, "...at the river i stand,/guide my feet, hold my hand".

This poem is a sequence of flashes of feelings and understandings about rivers. Clifton says that she is raised on the shore of Lake Erie, calling it "e" for escape, ostensibly as the family escapes from what it is to be black in the south. She refers to the s's in Mississippi, which are more than her mother's sons. The poet refers again, as in other poems to "dahomey," a west African nation now called Benin, which nation is so distant from America. She moves images to the letter s, thinking of slavery that she says happens near Memphis, Tennessee. The Mississippi does not recognize the "northern born"...

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This section contains 384 words
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