Blessing The Boats
Studying Lucille Clifton presents the opportunity to examine one of the best contemporary poets. Paper Masters has writers that explicate her poetry from the work found in Blessing the Boats through a research paper.
Lucille Clifton's selection of poems in Blessing the Boats offers a unique perspective on her interpretation of the meanings of religion and the ancestral as they have been shaped by her life as a women and minority. A common theme used in a number of Clifton's poems is the origin of man, where Clifton offers her own voice to the thoughts, intentions and hopes of the following:
By employing significant figures who serve as ancestor to all of humanity in these poems, Clifton is able to convey her own thoughts on the direction that mankind has taken since Creation.
The poems "Adam thinking" and "eve thinking" exemplify Clifton's purpose. For example, it is fair to suggest that in "Adam thinking", Clifton attempts to reveal Adam as a man representative of men as a whole who have demonstrated what may be considered the inherent desire to express their dominance: "she, stolen from my bone, is it any wonder I hunger to tunnel back inside, desperate to reconnect the rib and clay and to be whole. Some need is in me, struggling to roar through my mouth into a name".
Clifton's characterization of Eve is much less harsh and in essence, fairly demonstrates her belief that the female has, since the beginning of time, strived to meet the challenge of dominance while maintaining a resolve to make good of her subordinate position.