Welcome to the launch of the Clifton House website. You will hear from different voices within our growing community within the articles of this, The Latest – our house blog. We hope our publications, stories, and triumphs inspire you to cultivate a celebration of life through artistic expression.
Without further ado, we present to you The Clifton House. Please enjoy this excerpt from the forward of
how to carry water
Selected poems by Lucille Clifton.
No one writes like Lucille Clifton, and yet, if it were possible to pen a voice, like a suitcase, to see what it carries inside it, I believe that inside the voices of many contemporary U.S. American poets are the poems of Lucille Clifton. There is the ferocity of her clear sight. There is the constellatory thinking where every thing is kin. The verbs of one body might also be the verbs of another seemingly disparate or distant body (her streetlights, for example, bloom.) And all things have agency: as the speaker of “august the 12th” mourns a distant brother on his birthday, the speaker’s hair cries, too (“my hair / is crying for her brother”). The poems, in their specificity and dilating scale, startle readers into new sense. They discomfort as often as they bless, and they bless as often as they wonder – bearing witness to joy and too struggle.
And now, let the journey begin.