The theme of Lucille Clifton’s “Homage to my hips” concentrates on a proud, strong, and powerful woman who is absolutely in love with her hips. Clifton’s tone throughout the poem focuses highly on her big hips. Not once does the she speak negatively about them. She feels absolutely wonderful about her big hips, making her feel so confident and full-bodied all at the same time. She gives off many reasons to why her hips make her modest, but full of pride.
The beginning of ’Homage to my hips” illustrates the confidence that the speaker has about her hips. “These hips are big hips” (1) demonstrate how the speaker is proud of her big hips and does not mind what others may think about her hips. I feel like the speaker would be disappointed if she had little hips. The speaker knows that her hips are big and they need additional room when she explains “they need space to/move around in” (2/3). The speaker knows her hips do not fit into little places. The speaker of “Homage to my hips” is definitely not ashamed of her considerably large hips.
After the speaker talks about her proud qualities as it pertains to her hips she moves on to speak about why her hips make her strong. In the lines “these hips/are free hips (5-6) the speaker demonstrates that her hips do what they want to do. Her wide hips have no limitations. “These hips have never been enslaved” (7) shows the speaker has never been controlled and she can uphold her freedom by herself. The speaker shows her strong side by stating “they go where they want to go/they do what they want to do” (8-9). The big hips do not make her feel weak.
Finally Clifton speaks about how her hips make her powerful. I think that when the speaker states that “these hips are mighty hips/these hips are magic hips” (11-12) would give a sense that she can get certain things from a man or give a man a certain feeling. Also, the magic of the hips could attract a lover perhaps. “I have known them/to put a spell on a man and/spin...
Cited: Clifton, Lucille. “Homage to my hips.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 10th ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 1095.
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