Lucille Clifton Writing Styles in Climbing

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"Climbing" is a lyric poem. Lyrics are short, first-person poems focusing on the speaker's emotional or mental state. They are often melodic and often based in the imagination rather than in the empirically verifiable real world. The word lyric derives from the Greek lyre, meaning a musical instrument once used to accompany poems. Clifton's poem stimulates the imagination when she describes her ghostly double preceding her on the rope of life. The poem's melody is due in part to its repetition of the phrase "maybe i should have." As one of poetry's oldest forms, the lyric has evolved into a variety of kinds including the ballad, the ode, and the sonnet. Most people today recognize the plural form of lyric as referring to a song's words. Well-known writers of lyric poetry include Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, and Robert Frost.

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This section contains 207 words
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Poetry for Students
Climbing from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.