won’t you celebrate with me

by N.A.N.

I was listening to an episode of the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Off the Shelf podcast on my drive to work this morning, and under discussion was Lucille Clifton’s poem, “won’t you celebrate with me,” which can be found here:

won’t you celebrate with me

And it’s a really good poem about shaping and crafting oneself generally, but of course especially how Lucille Clifton, an African-American woman, shaped herself, if I assume she’s the persona in the poem, and the last clause is just a killer, “come celebrate/with me that everyday/something has tried to kill me/and has failed.” Pow. It comes off more powerfully as written, I think…

…come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

And to get the full power, hearing Ms. Clifton read it, well then it really packs a punch. There’s a recording of it found at the link above. won’t you come celebrate with me…

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