Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Won't You Celebrate With Me? Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, here's a link to my reading of one of my favorite Lucille Clifton poems, Won't You Celebrate With Me. (audio, 1 min)

Cover image of Lucille Clifton Collected Poems
The Collected Poems (click on pic to access ebook - LPTS only)

Lucille Clifton is an American poet and writer (June 27, 1936 - Feb. 13 2010). She was discovered by the poet Langston Hughes and her poetry introduced to the world in his 1979 anthology The Poetry of the Negro.  

Winner of the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 may be the most important book of poetry to appear in years, wrote The Publishers Weekly.  I invite you to browse the ebook copy from our library. The collection combines all eleven of Lucille Clifton's published collections with more than sixty previously unpublished poems. The unpublished works feature early poems from 1965-1969, a collection-in-progress titled Book of Days (2008), and a poignant selection of final poems. Won't You Celebrate With Me was originally published in her Book of Light.

Won't you Celebrate With Me by Lucille Clifton.

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
Credits:  Lucille Clifton. Reading by Anita Coleman. Audio recorded by StoryCorps.