poet Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton

#224 on top 500 poets

Moonchild

whatever slid into my mother's room that
late june night, tapping her great belly,
summoned me out roundheaded and unsmiling.
is this the moon, my father used to grin.
cradling me? it was the moon
but nobody knew it then.

the moon understands dark places.
the moon has secrets of her own.
she holds what light she can.

we girls were ten years old and giggling
in our hand-me-downs. we wanted breasts,
pretended that we had them, tissued
our undershirts. jay johnson is teaching
me to french kiss, ella bragged, who
is teaching you? how do you say; my father?

the moon is queen of everything.
she rules the oceans, rivers, rain.
when I am asked whose tears these are
I always blame the moon.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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3,5 out of 5
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Comments about Moonchild by Lucille Clifton

  • Emma ZAyas (11/12/2018 8:09:00 PM)

    bland poem 3/10

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  • Perdita (3/6/2018 11:01:00 PM)

    the moon understands dark places.
    the moon has secrets of her own.
    ————
    Girlhood experience revealed in the background of the moon.. Terrific.

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (3/6/2018 9:21:00 PM)

    the moon is queen of everything.
    she rules the oceans, rivers, rain.
    when I am asked whose tears these are
    I always blame the moon........beautiful expression with nice theme. Brilliant write.

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  • Seamus O BrianSeamus O Brian (3/6/2018 4:07:00 PM)

    A powerful, biting work that explores how children find refuge from horrors over which they have no control. To be able to project our pain onto something distant and objective in order to survive the painful reality of that which is close and familiar. Terrific writing; necessarily horrible subject.

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (3/6/2018 11:59:00 AM)

    The moon understands dark places! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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  • Ravi Kopra (3/6/2018 5:29:00 AM)

    A translation of the poem in Hindi/Urdu here -

    https: //www.poemhunter.com/poem/moonchild-a-poem-by-lucille-clifton-in-hindi-urdu-translation/

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  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (3/6/2018 3:22:00 AM)

    Marvelous expressions. Connecting with moon in a deep and intense way. Reminded me of my small poem moon’s child that came out of similar feelings.

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    Ravi Kopra(3/6/2018 5:31:00 AM)

    'Reminded me of my small poem moon’s child that came out of similar feelings.'

    Could you please post here/send me by PM the link to your poem. Thanks

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (3/6/2018 1:41:00 AM)

    Such a great poem by Lucille Clifton👍👍👍

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  • Colleen Courtney (5/15/2014 12:02:00 PM)

    One of my favorite poems from the poet. Absolutely brilliant writing!

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  • Richard Hexem (3/29/2010 11:03:00 PM)

    That last verse is outstanding! It would make a great poem all by itself!
    It wouldn't let me go!

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  • Mallory Christianson (4/19/2008 10:31:00 PM)

    This is a gorgeous poem. I just read it for the first time in my poetry class on Wednesday and I must have read it at least fifty times since. Every time I read it I almost want to cry.

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Read poems about / on: moon, june, father, kiss, rain, mother, dark, light, night, ocean, river, girl