Edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser
Foreword by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison
Afterword by Kevin Young
Winner of the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry
The culmination of a 40-year career by one of America’s most
revered poets, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010
combines all of Lucille Clifton’s published collections with 69
previously unpublished poems. The unpublished pieces feature early
poems from 1965-1969, a collection-in-progress entitled Book of Days,
and a poignant selection of final poems. An insightful Foreword by
Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, and a comprehensive
Afterword by noted poet Kevin Young, frame Clifton’s lifetime body
of work, providing a definitive statement about this major American
poet’s career. This landmark volume is a must-have for all of
Clifton’s fans—past, present, and future.
From the Editors: This volume represents all the poems Lucille
Clifton published in book form during her lifetime. It also includes
groupings of previously uncollected poems placed in the book roughly
when they were written: first, a small selection of “Early Poems”
from the many Clifton wrote and kept but did not gather in her first
full-length book, Good Times (1969); second, we have included a
recently discovered typescript, Book of Days, that Clifton seems to
have completed during 2006; and, finally, a grouping of “Last Poems
& Drafts” that include late work and fragments, in various
states of completion, found among her papers housed at Emory
University. In all cases we have maintained the unique typography
(and handwriting) found in her uncollected work.
today we are possible.
The morning, green and laundry-sweet,
opens itself and we enter
blind and mewling.
everything waits for us:
the snow kingdom
sparkling and silent
in its glacial cap,
the cane fields
shining and sweet
in the sun-drenched south.
as the day arrives
with all its clumsy blessings
what we will become