Sunday, June 15, 2014

Responses to Lucille Clifton and Jayne Cortez

Responses to Lucille Clifton's "Homage to My Hips"

Bodily integrity and the cult of true Womanhood emerges from the lyrics of Lucille Clifton’s poem “Homage to my Hips.” Her metaphorically-resistant notion embodies the female’s infinite strength. The repetition and symbolism of her hips celebrates the physical characteristics of a woman and explains distinctly how the essence of a woman is unimaginably powerful. --Mariah Hill

In Lucille Clifton's "homage to my hips" the ownership of body is a running theme. The act of a Black woman claiming her physicality, "these hips have never been enslaved," may be a form of protest, or at least a deviation from Black women not being the owners of their objects—their bodies. --Josalynn Smith

Be sure to look for the different contexts “hips” are used for. Not only the physical body features, hips are used in reference to relationships with men and women. The speakers hips are known to “put a spell on a man” and also “don't fit into little petty places”, signifying to the stereotype of white women's hips. --Alesia Alexander


Responses to Jayne Cortez's “I am New York City”

Haughtiness is a very strong concept throughout this poem. Cortez seems to have a strong sense of pride for being a New Yorker, but there is also an aroma of disdain throughout the poem while she is revealing stereotypical norms in New York City. – Amber Walker

Readers should analyze the poem as a persona of New York City and incorporate the multifaceted descriptions into the interpretation. Readers should also compare the images of the city to the descriptions of the body parts. Readers should see how Cortez incorporates the positive and negative attitudes and atmosphere of the city to create a completed unit of a poem, which is representative of the city as a whole. – Candace Chambers

It is key to understand how New York is personified in both body parts and body functions. Both are reoccurring themes throughout the poems. What is essential about the body parts and functions are the modifiers or nouns associated with them. For example, hot sauce and brains, confetti and flesh, nose and soot. – Deontez Wimbley

AALCI 2014


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