The Other Half

“Just pushing in the inner city or like we call it home.”

In “For deLawd” Lucille Clifton illustrates the life of a woman living in the inner city, the struggles and victories of her life and of those before her.She talks about the loss of a child, an experience that many before her have unfortunately become accustomed to. The children of the inner city families have fallen casualties of a harder way of life, or different perhaps, in her point of view. They have lived and they have died, this is part of life. The hardships that families encounter come in a variety of forms and situations, this has been her experience.

The poem begins with her stating, “people say they have a hard time understanding how I go on about my business,” however, she has “kept on pushing…fried chicken, ironed…grief kept” her part has been that of any other mother, reguardless of her environment. Despite this, she does state that “we think alot about uptown…and we hang on to our no place, happy to be alive”.  Things may be easier somewhere else but that does not mean what she has can not bring happiness and beauty as well. Her central argument is this, no matter your circumstances we will all struggle, love, and lose the things and people we care about. This is life, take it as it comes and be grateful for the little enjoyments along the way.She has kept alive the belief that happiness can be found anywhere.




2 thoughts on “The Other Half

  1. That was a well put expression of that poem. I believe we often find ourselves drifting off in our own minds at times about the way we think things should be or should not have been. If we could take the time out of our own lives and look at someone elses life in their eyes then we would not be so shollow about what we do and do not have. Some people spend their whole life trying to better theirselves thinking that if they have a exclent paying job and move to an expensive neighborhood their lives will be so much easier. Yea they might live good and comfortably for awhile but they soon discover that we are all human beings and no matter where you live or how much money you have we all have trials and tribulations. With life, comes death. Crime is everywhere. You can not run from your problems; you just have to deal with them. Why? Because it is a part of life.

  2. I think we see this poem in the same perspective. As we read the poem we visualize a black woman going through struggles and dealing with these struggles. This poem reminds me of the neighborhood I am from. A neighborhood where people are often killed, and these people often being African American. People that are not from this area in the city tend to judge the ones who are. A line in Lucille Clifton’s poem, which is also quoted in the blog, reads “people say they have a hard time understanding how I go on about my businesss.” This particular statement gives me the impression that the woman in the poem is being judged. People dont know how she goes on about her business, but what else is she to do besides go on with life and enjoy it. Her “home” is all she knows. Even if her home is not the best place in the world, it’s probably all she will ever know. I think people rather struggle, than to deal with change, or maybe don’t get the oppurtunity for change.

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