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Analysis and comments on the lost baby poem by Lucille Clifton

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Comment 9 of 39, added on July 9th, 2012 at 6:13 AM.

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Comment 5 of 39, added on April 16th, 2010 at 10:47 AM.


Comment 4 of 39, added on April 16th, 2010 at 10:47 AM.


Comment 3 of 39, added on December 17th, 2008 at 8:05 AM.

Aaliyah - "your children are like rice"?! What does that mean - are you
planning to eat them?

I went over to the Blue Minstrels (speaking of Rice) and read this and
there is nothing in this that indicates that it is even about an abortion.
To me it reads like a very thoughtful reflection on baby that was lost (as
in miscarriage).

Many thoughtful women may be having abortions everyday, as one reader
asserts, thanks to Roe v. Wade - but I guarantee you they are much more
thoughtful about it after the fact.

If anything, Clifton's poem does bring that fact home to roost pretty
strongly. Whether it was an intentional loss or not, the loss is there. I
am always amazed by the power and sensitivity of her writes. She must
indeed have been a mountain of a mom.

Comment 2 of 39, added on December 16th, 2008 at 9:11 PM.

To Aaliyah...I doubt that you paid much thought to the poem....this poem
speaks of a woman who had to make a decision whether to bring a baby that
she couldn't care for into the world. She chose not to because she knew
that she could not provide enough love or material needs for the
child...when she refers to Black men, she is invoking the wrath of those
whose opinion she holds dear if she does not take care of the children whom
she already has.
And yes, you are wrong. On every count...I get that you are a black
woman, but you probably have not had to made ethical decisions that will
forever impact your life...her "ceremonial chant" is a pledge and an
acceptance. She accepts that in the future, she might be questioned on her
prior decisions. She also accepts that she might never have been good
enough, literally, physically, or in her role as a woman. But in the end,
she knows that she did what she did for the love of her child.
That may sound wrong to you, but believe me, many perfectly sane women
make that decision perhaps each day. Thanks to Roe v. Wade (1974).

Joke Silva from Barbados
Comment 1 of 39, added on September 13th, 2007 at 12:14 AM.

"Yo! This poem is throw'd OFF! I been researching this chick and she has
got a lot of "big things poppin" but she is pretty crazy in my opinion!"

"This poem is crazy! I have been researching the author and she has
received high honors in her poetic career but in my opinion, she's crazy!"

I don't know her like my momma but I am glad that i don't because if i
would have been one of her kids i might have been aborted!

When does a woman take abortion too far? When is it inhumane?

In the case of Ms. Lucille, I got this gut inclination that out of the 6
kids that remained, a whole bunch of them didn't make it. The girl started
talkin' bout shovin hangers insider her like old school 3rd world countries
in an earlier poem that she wrote called " Blessing the Boat" The lady is
aborting these "almost" bodies. By any means I assume. So she gets pregnant
in the poem and decides to ditch the kid like the 17-year old prom date
from Hell. In this poem she decided to drown the 'almost' body that she may
or may not have ripped out with a hanger.

Her reason for this cruel and unusual punishment in the poem is less
complex than the real possible reason(s). But in the poem she likes to
(what I call) "blaim it on the rain" She begins to whine about what she
doesn't have, a car, a coat, lights in the cold of a Canadian winter. Do
you have pity? Empathy?

Well I don't! I have been there and done that but what I have not
experienced is the hurt that could hurt a woman so deeply by a man that
would make a woman feel compelled to rip up the walls of her uterus and
tear off that which is feeding off of it's nourishment.

I ask myself a worse case scenario question and wonder what would feel
worse than ripping a child out of my uterus? I answer, " probably having an
old creepy family member thrust himself inside said uterus". So it makes me
curious to know if that is the reason that this woman has chosen to
terminates this baby's life. It sucks that people are rippin' kids all out
of their uterus' all Willy Nilly compared to all the couples trying to have
just one.

Well Lucille Clifton was blessed with 6. How they are doing today? I am not
sure. If any of you read this article I would love to talk to you about
your family.

So she sends the baby down the 'Hudson', and she's wants to explain to you
why she did it. Like I said her excuses were weak but she ends in her last
attempts to baffle her readers on her exact reasons why. It is interesting
because it appears to me that she is saying some sort of ceremonial chant
in the end. She says that if she is anything less than a mountain to the
other brothers and sisters the decapitated fetus would have had if she
chosen to bring it into the world, she will understand why she is being
killed. Or punished or taken away from the world.

This poem is weird, suicidal, filled with sin and a brief horror. The most
insane part of the poem to me, is the end where her little chant that she
does to the spirit Gods still involves black men. Why not deal with this
issue when you was giving us reasons that you aborted the child in such a
savage way. Is the black man that created the child the real root and the
reason that she doesn't even want to see the child's face form in his
father's likeness?

If I am correct this is pathetic. Her poem is quite interesting but I am
through because as a black woman that has been through her share of life's
problems, I say Keep Mashin'! Keep Pushing! Thank GOD for every blessing
you receive and like my momma used to say "your children are your rice".

{become familiar with slang and you can read almost anythang!}


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Information about the lost baby poem

Poet: Lucille Clifton
Poem: the lost baby poem
Added: Apr 12 2005
Viewed: 9467 times

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