john

By Lucille Clifton 1936–2010 Lucille Clifton
somebody coming in blackness
like a star
and the world be a great bush
on his head
and his eyes be fire
in the city
and his mouth be true as time
 
he be calling the people brother
even in the prison
even in the jail
 
i’m just only a baptist preacher
somebody bigger than me coming
in blackness like a star
 

Lucille Clifton, "john" from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton.  Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. 

Source: The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA Editions Ltd., 1980)

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Poet Lucille Clifton 1936–2010

Subjects Religion, Christianity, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Persona

 Lucille  Clifton

Biography

A prolific and widely respected poet, Lucille Clifton's work emphasizes endurance and strength through adversity, focusing particularly on African-American experience and family life. Awarding the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize to Clifton in 2007, the judges remarked that “One always feels the looming humaneness around Lucille Clifton’s poems—it is a moral quality that some poets have and some don’t.” In addition to the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Christianity, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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