Friday, 11 November 2016

This week, I turned to Lucille Clifton’s words for comfort. Her poem “my dream about time” captures the frustration, fear, and anger so many women are feeling right now.


my dream about time
By Lucille Clifton

a woman unlike myself is running
down the long hall of a lifeless house
with too many windows which open on
a world she has no language for,
running and running until she reaches
at last the one and only door
which she pulls open to find each wall
is faced with clocks and as she watches
all of the clocks strike
Listen to Clifton reading this poem at The Poetry Foundation.

PF tag

There’s a poetry feast at Jama’s house today. You’ll find all of the Poetry Friday links at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup.

The contest to win my home-made Poetry Prompt Jar will run through the NCTE Conference. I’ll draw a winner on Monday, 11/21. Find out more and enter here.
Are you going to NCTE? It will be my first time attending. I’ll post my schedule soon!

24 responses to “Poetry Friday: Lucille Clifton”

  1. jama says:

    What a powerful poem, such a painful truth. Thanks for sharing, Laura.

  2. Irene Latham says:

    This *might* be my favorite Lucille poem. At least it is today. Thank you, Laura. Looking forward to sharing time with you at NCTE. xo

  3. Julieanne says:

    Whoa! What a powerhouse of a poem and a woman. Thank you.
    I will be at NCTE!! So glad you will be there too. You will LOVE it.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      She was a powerful advocate for poetry, Julieanne. We were very lucky to have Lucille in our local literary community.

      See you at NCTE!

  4. So much frustration, disappointment, heartbreak right now. Let us channel it into action, in whatever way we can, including sharing beautiful, inspiring poetry like this.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Yes, Jane. I fear many of us — myself included — have been sleeping. It’s time to wake up and take action.

  5. Such power in such a small poem. Wow! Thank you for sharing this one.

  6. Linda Baie says:

    Thanks for this, Laura, will share with my daughter, too, who at least will know some others are feeling the same, and some special someone has written the words.

  7. Tara says:

    Yes, a resounding NO…but there is always action to fight against the NO.

  8. In my dream, someone would be chasing me, too. Great poem, and I can relate instantly. Something has gone wrong with this world.

  9. Molly Hogan says:

    What a powerful poem with that sudden jarring, heartbreaking ending!

  10. Sally Murphy says:

    Wow. So bleak yet so very powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    I didn’t realize it’s your first time to attend NCTE. Welcome home!

  12. I know many LC poems, but not this one…like so many dreams packed with possible interpretations, masses of emotion, and I’m so curious: a woman “unlike me”?

    See you on Thursday evening if not Friday? Planning to attend your session, of course.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I wonder about that line, too. Maybe it implies that nothing will stop the speaker — not even time.

      I don’t arrive until Friday. Let’s find a time to meet up!

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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