poems do not come from what you know

Curtis Fox: When did you write that poem about your hips?

Lucille Clifton: Oh, that was early seventies.

CF: Was that in response to the feminist movement at the time?

LC: No, it was in response to my big hips! There’s not always, you know, I mean... I’m not always responding to various movements and things, I’m responding to life. Somebody asked me where do I get my ideas, for instance, as if poetry comes from ideas all the time. Poems do not come from what you know, they come from what you are trying to wonder about.

- from an interview featured in the lovely Poetry off the Shelf podcast "Done with this Dust". Lucille Clifton died on February 13th.


daniela elza said...

well, you know i am going to agree with that:-)
poems do not come from what you know. what is in it for me/you otherwise?
Poetry is a way of knowing.

I Am The Russian Queen said...

Thanks for this...I love Lucille's work