Lucille Clifton: September's Song

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Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) was an American writer and educator from Buffalo, New York.  Common topics in her poetry include the celebration of her African American heritage, and feminist themes.  She was the former Poet Laureate of Maryland.


Statement about the Poem
My name is Lucille Clifton. I was having lunch at Saint Mary's College in Maryland on September 11, when I watched on television the devastation of the Twin Towers. And I thought a lot about that and about the fact that my eldest daughter had, had a new baby girl five days before, and about love and continuing and fear and hope. And this poem is a reaction to those thoughts and feelings.


 

September's Song: A Poem in Seven Days

Tuesday
thunder and lightning and our world
is another place no day 

will ever be the same no blood 

untouched

they know this storm in other wheres 

israel ireland palestine 

but God has blessed America 

we sing
and God has blessed America 

to learn that no one is exempt 

the world is one all fear
is one all life all death
all one

Sunday Morning for bailey 

the st. marys river flows
as if nothing has happened

i watch it with my coffee
afraid and sad as are we all

so many ones to hate and i 

cursed with long memory

cursed with the desire to understand 

have never been good at hating

now this new granddaughter 

born into a violent world

as if nothing has happened

and i am consumed with love 

for all of it

the everydayness of bravery 

of hate of fear of tragedy

of death and birth and hope
true as this river

and especially with love
bailey fredrica clifton goin

for you