Lucille Clifton

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

The Times - Poem by Lucille Clifton

it is hard to remain human on a day
when birds perch weeping
in the trees and the squirrel eyes
do not look away but the dog ones do
in pity.
another child has killed a child
and i catch myself relieved that they are
white and i might understand except
that i am tired of understanding.
if this
alphabet could speak its own tongue
it would be all symbol surely;
the cat would hunch across the long table
and that would mean time is catching up,
and the spindle fish would run to ground
and that would mean the end is coming
and the grains of dust would gather themselves
along the streets and spell out:

these too are your children this too is your child


Comments about The Times by Lucille Clifton

  • Drtony BrahminDrtony Brahmin (5/4/2019 8:45:00 AM)

    the spindle fish would run to ground
    and that would mean the end is coming
    and the grains of dust would gather themselves
    along the streets and spell out: provoking thinking. a great poem. tony
    (Report)Reply

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  • akeu grabbe (3/10/2018 10:09:00 PM)

    you've got to be me (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (10/5/2017 1:55:00 PM)

    Another child has killed a child! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report)Reply

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  • Geeta Radhakrishna MenonGeeta Radhakrishna Menon (10/5/2017 12:01:00 PM)

    these too are your children this too is your child
    A poignant statement poetically established
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (10/5/2017 10:22:00 AM)

    It is painful when children are killed.A mother's pain of losing her child is felt by all living beings in nature.The animals and birds sympathize the weeping mother. We are no humans when we remain insensitive to the death of children because they are not of our race or religion.To quote from the poem- -
    it is hard to remain human on a day
    when birds perch weeping
    in the trees and the squirrel eyes
    do not look away but the dog ones do
    in pity.
    another child has killed a child
    and i catch myself relieved that they are
    white and i might understand except
    that i am tired of understanding.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Subhas Chandra ChakraSubhas Chandra Chakra (10/5/2017 6:17:00 AM)

    Some pains are universal, they go beyond the boundaries.
    Beyond colour of skin or race or alphabet.
    A nice write.
    10 for sharing this lovely poem.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (10/5/2017 5:28:00 AM)

    This is excellently penned tender poem basing on perception of nature is shared. All creatures in this Earth are like children. Human beings should save them and should not kill. Understanding the exceptional perception is wise ever...10 (Report)Reply

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  • Jeanette TelusmaJeanette Telusma (10/5/2017 4:38:00 AM)

    - -it is hard to remain human on a day
    when birds perch weeping- - These opening lines sets the right tune for such a poem. A wonderful write. Congrats! ! !
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (10/5/2017 1:36:00 AM)

    Such a fine poem.................. (Report)Reply

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  • Dutendra ChamlingDutendra Chamling (10/28/2015 3:45:00 AM)

    ...these too are your children this too is your child...
    Wonderful poem.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Colleen Courtney (5/15/2014 12:27:00 PM)

    No matter the color of skin. The death of a child causes the same pain in the mother. A beautiful poem. (Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: cat, child, fish, dog, children, time, fishing, running, tree



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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