Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"it was a dream," by Lucille Clifton

"The Fire Within," Ysabel LeMay

it was a dream
by Lucille Clifton

in which my greater self
rose up before me
accusing me of my life
with her extra finger
whirling in a gyre of rage
at what my days had come to.
i pleaded with her, could i do,
oh what could i have done?
and she twisted her wild hair
and sparked her wild eyes
and screamed as long as
i could hear her
This.  This.  This.

[Image above by Ysabel LeMay]
Poem via Poets.org

I just love this poem, but it also scares the pants off of me (as well it should!). Lucille Clifton is such a master--not just of poetry, but of inner awareness and the ability to speak what seems true, but is not always said. This poem is indeed terrifying (oh, the unreached and impossible potential of our own greatness and power), but somehow it's also reassuring: we will all feel this "This" at some point, and hopefully, it will fade, like the dream that brought it to us. 


  1. Love Lucille Clifton's work. Marvelous imagery invoked in this poem. The energy in so short a poem is remarkable.

    The image is gorgeous, too.

    1. Glad you enjoyed this poem and image, Maureen! I completely agree...the poem is hard to quote without doing so in its entirety!


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