The Book of Light

Lucille Clifton, Author Copper Canyon Press $21 (80p) ISBN 978-1-55659-051-1
Clifton's ( Quilting ) latest collection clearly demonstrates why she was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. These poems contain all the simplicity and grace readers have come to expect from her work. The first few pages set the title in a larger perspective at the same time that they announce the book's premise: ``woman, i am / lucille, which stands for light.'' This is a feminist version of Roots , charged with outrage at the sins done to women of previous generations. There are the typical heroes and anti-heroes: Atlas, Sisyphus, Leda, biblical women--but even these tired figures are given a new, often comic, twist: Naomi, for example, doesn't want Ruth's devotion, just to be left alone to ``grieve in peace''; several poems are addressed to Clark Kent as the speaker comes to terms with the realization that he doesn't have the power to save her after all. And what do today's women have instead of superheroes? Jesse Helms; fathers who ``burned us all.'' Though it is based more or less in traditional Christianity, the poetry also is concerned with how spirituality can be personal. Low key and poignant, poem after poem takes the form of a conversation, whether woman to her dead parents, Lucifer to God, or poet to reader. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1993
Release date: 02/01/1993
Show other formats
Paperback - 76 pages - 978-1-55659-052-8
Ebook - 80 pages - 978-1-61932-043-7
Open Ebook - 81 pages - 978-1-306-83483-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.