Lucille Clifton was an American poet, writer, and educator from from United States. 

She was Maryland’s Poet Laureate from 1979 to 1985. Clifton was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry twice.

She wrote about the everyday lives of African Americans, and she used a lot of rhyming words in her poems.

Her poems are sometimes funny, and sometimes sad.

“Homage to my hips,” one of Clifton’s most famous poems, is about celebrating and accepting her body, and it has become a rallying cry for body positivity and self-love.

You will find below a curated collection of the best ‘Lucille Clifton’ quotes that you can read and share with others.


Best Lucille Clifton Quotes

You cannot play for safety and make art. ~ Lucille Clifton.

If someone gives you permission, they can take it away. I give myself permission. ~ Lucille Clifton.

The end of a thing, is never the end, something is always being born like a year of a baby. ~ Lucille Clifton.

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Tell the truth… maybe just to see clearly, as clearly as possible. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Don’t write out of what I know; I write out of what I wonder. I think most artists create art in order to explore, not to give the answers. Poetry and art are not about answers to me; they are about questions. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Come celebrate with me that every day something has tried to kill me and has failed. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Children when they ask you why your mama so funny say she is a poet she don’t have no sense. ~ Lucille Clifton.

People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that’s a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Famous Lucille Clifton Quotes

I think that were beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Say it clear, and it will be beautiful. ~ Lucille Clifton.

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Intellect doesn’t translate across cultures; intuition does. ~ Lucille Clifton.

I don’t go get a poem. It calls me and I accept it. ~ Lucille Clifton.

They ask me to remember but they want me to remember their memories and I keep on remembering mine. ~ Lucille Clifton.

May you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Even when the universe made it quite clear to me that I was mistaken in my certainties … I did not break. The shattering of my sureties did not shatter me. ~ Lucille Clifton.

What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton.

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Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing. ~ Lucille Clifton.

You might as well answer the door, my child, the truth is furiously knocking. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Top Lucille Clifton Quotes

She wrote about her life and her experiences. She was from Maryland, and she wrote about the things that happened to her and the people she knew. One of her most famous poems is called "Walking.

In the bigger scheme of things the universe is not asking us to do something, the universe is asking us to be something. And that’s a whole different thing. ~ Lucille Clifton.

The literature of America should reflect the children of America. ~ Lucille Clifton.

The lesson of the falling leaves the leaves believe such letting go is love such love is faith such faith is grace such grace is god i agree with the leaves. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language. ~ Lucille Clifton.

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I come to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. ~ Lucille Clifton.

I do not feel inhibited or bound by what I am. That does not mean that I have never had bad scenes relating to being Black and/or a woman, it means that other people’s craziness has not managed to make me crazy. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Popular Lucille Clifton Quotes

All people, even one’s own children, come with baggage. When they’re little, you have to help them carry it. But when they grow up, you have to do that difficult thing of setting their baggage down and taking up your own again. ~ Lucille Clifton.

I write from my knowledge not my lack, from my strength not my weakness. I am not interested if anyone knows whether or not I am familiar with big words, I am interested in trying to render big ideas in a simple way. I am interested in being understood not admired. ~ Lucille Clifton.

To be a good poet, you must care more about the writing, than the writer. ~ Lucille Clifton.

I am running into a new year and the old years blow back like a wind that I catch in my hair like strong fingers like all my old promises and it will be hard to let go of what I said to myself about myself when I was sixteen and twenty-six and thirty-six but I am running into a new year and I beg what i love and I leave to forgive me. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Telling the truth about children’s lives is radical. ~ Lucille Clifton.

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We cannot create what we can’t imagine. ~ Lucille Clifton.

Things don’t fall apart. Things hold. Lines connect in thin ways that last and last and lives become generations made out of pictures and words just kept. ~ Lucille Clifton.

We need new words for what this is, this hunger entering our loneliness like birds, stunning our eyes into rays of hope. we need the flutter that can save us, something that will swirl across the face of what we have become and bring us grace. ~ Lucille Clifton.



So these were the 35 famous quotes about Lucille Clifton.

Tell me in the comments section, which “Lucille Clifton” quotes were your favorite?

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Karen Carpenter quotes and Isaiah Berlin quotes.

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