Blessing The Boats by Lucille Clifton

Blessing The Boats is a book of Lucille Clifton’s collected poetry spanning 1988-2000, now published under Penguin Modern Classics in the UK. The poetry within spans a huge range of subjects from injustice and race to motherhood and health, the Garden of Eden to Superman. Clifton’s style is deeply engaging, with a lot of precise and concise lines and imagery and short poems, sometimes in a sequence talking to each other.

 Some of my favourite poems in the collection were the ones about Lucifer and Adam and Eve (strangely the collection had already got me thinking about writing poems about Lucifer before I reached multiple of them to read) and the poems to Clark Kent. I also really like the ‘shapeshifter poems’ which I think would sit very nicely alongside a lot of modern poetry. In general, the poems felt really timeless to me, and it is the sort of collected poems that makes you want to return to it, and also read more of Clifton’s individual collections.