Lucille Clifton

(June 27, 1936 - February 13, 2010 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Homage To My Hips - Poem by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Form: Ode


Comments about Homage To My Hips by Lucille Clifton

  • Rajnish Manga (12/6/2016 12:24:00 PM)


    The poet has dwelt upon a subject that is not generally discussed in our society or if it is discussed, it is done to mock somebody. Here the poet has referred to hips to break free from baseless conventions and to commit herself to real freedom. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Shareq Rahman (12/4/2016 12:32:00 AM)


    This poem is not about a AfrAm hip and the poet does not say so. She even says that these hips were never enslaved. Female hips are always round, even if the female is slim. There is no need to think about obesity. (Report) Reply

  • Soumita Sarkar (9/6/2015 9:51:00 AM)


    Awesome.....woman....Liked the spirit of freedom.....with this symbol of hip.....Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2014 3:09:00 PM)


    Ah yes, the beautiful shape of things to come... (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2014 1:00:00 PM)


    You better work them hips girl! Hehe, good read. (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (11/7/2014 11:01:00 AM)


    A hilarious poem about the attribute of hips. One of the
    the hippest poems on PH. I love this lilting write.
    (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (11/7/2014 3:10:00 AM)


    Although attaractive to men yet a problem to the women..the hip hop hips..very funny (Report) Reply

  • (6/6/2014 3:32:00 PM)


    ............you know what they say.....a moment on the lips is forever on the hips.. (Report) Reply

  • (5/15/2014 11:50:00 AM)


    Ha! Great poem. Knew it was a keeper just by reading the title! (Report) Reply

  • Jasbir Chatterjee (11/7/2013 10:23:00 PM)


    for a change, PH made a right choice in choosing this poem as poem of the day..it certainly deserves to be..I like the bold attitude in this poem... (Report) Reply

  • Soumita Sarkar (11/7/2013 4:05:00 AM)


    Good satire on the hips that are attractive and free..............BUT I completely agree with what Mr. Nair said....... (Report) Reply

  • Babatunde Aremu (11/7/2013 2:49:00 AM)


    Ha, ha, ha.........This is hilarious. The poet is celebrating the giftof God in her life. But be warned if the hips are too big it becomes a problem to the owner. Well, I enjoy the poem. Kudos (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/7/2013 2:23:00 AM)


    All hips have an expiry date
    A time when no more heads they turn
    When you are a little overweight
    And seeing other hips with jealousy burn.............

    Good poem and surprising choice of subject. I welcome all poets reading this to my page too.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/6/2013 1:13:00 AM)


    I came here following a link in a piece in the NYT, 'Black Women and Fat', by Alice Randall,5 May 2012.

    As Randall, an overweight black woman trying to get her weight under 200 lbs points out:

    FOUR out of five black women are seriously overweight. One out of four middle-aged black women has diabetes. With $174 billion a year spent on diabetes-related illness in America and obesity quickly overtaking smoking as a cause of cancer deaths, it is past time to try something new.

    Randall goes on to argue the African American women are fat because they want to be fat, and because their husbands want them to be fat. Thus females being fat is seen as being desirable in African American culture.

    Clifton, therefore, is not making a statement about being a powerful, independent woman, even if she thinks she is. Clifton is merely conforming to the expectations of African American culture, a culture shaped by male and female African Americans, but also of course shaped by white American culture.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/6/2013 1:12:00 AM)


    I came here following a link in a piece in the NYT, 'Black Women and Fat', by Alice Randall,5 May 2012.

    As Randall, an overweight black woman trying to get her weight under 200 lbs points out:

    FOUR out of five black women are seriously overweight. One out of four middle-aged black women has diabetes. With $174 billion a year spent on diabetes-related illness in America and obesity quickly overtaking smoking as a cause of cancer deaths, it is past time to try something new.

    Randall goes on to argue the African American women are fat because they want to be fat, and because their husbands want them to be fat. Thus females being fat is seen as being desirable in African American culture.

    Clifton, therefore, is not making a statement about being a powerful, independent woman, even if she thinks she is. Clifton is merely conforming to the expectations of African American culture, a culture shaped by male and female African Americans, but also of course shaped by white American culture.
    (Report) Reply

  • Anita Sehgal (11/7/2012 11:37:00 PM)


    really enjoyed this courageous poem...! (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (11/7/2012 7:00:00 AM)


    nice homage to hips. hips have never been enslaved rather enslaved the man to spin him like a top. (Report) Reply

  • (11/25/2009 11:46:00 AM)


    Homage to my Hips

    By Lucille Clifton

    She uses a figurative metaphor “Hips” to represent her personal characteristics. She has powerful, mighty, and magic hips. She is proud of her body. She is an independent woman not to enslave to anyone even her husband. She can sway her husband around like a top. The broader mean is that “man” stand for people. She can sway people conception about her, her race, her identity as a black woman. Her Hips need more space to move around means very little in physical aspect but it has more meaning as she, a black woman, would like to have more freedom, freedom to go outside socially than to be confined in a limited space at home.
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/14/2009 9:30:00 PM)


    Hey, Eseta O Poulivaati. This is one of my favorite poems as well. We read it in class and explicated it a bit. I was glad to hear that the poem was able to get you a good grade in your english class. I think my class enjoyed the poem as well. Take care (Report) Reply

  • (9/14/2009 9:28:00 PM)


    in the poem she basically says 'this is the way i am deal with it'. she stands strong and doesn't let anyone tell her about her own body. she doesn't spend any time worrying about what other people think of her appearance. she knows that she is special for who she is and nothing can come between that. it is inspirational because its how many people feel today in society with their issues with thier bodies. it is about pride. i agree with rebecca taylor and what she says about the line where clifton says she can put a spell on a man with her hips. she says that she knows the power she has and knowing what power we have is important to ones self esteem. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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