SONORA BEAUTIFUL by Lucille Clifton


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For older reluctant readers, this is written in short sentences and fragments and designed with lots of pictures and more space than text on every page. Without the space, the text would take up about four skinny pages. It is not a story and it is not a prose poem. It is more like a complaint that turns into a loving affirmation. Just because the author wants it to end that way. First Sonora tells how some mornings she wakes up believing she has ""got real ugly"" during the night. But her mother always assures her that she's beautiful. She also complains of her name. Of her father's weird way of making a living (he's a poet). And of their house which doesn't have ""regular"" rooms like other kids'. Sonora's mother thinks the name, occupation, and house are all beautiful. (Most poets would wonder how Daddy maintains the house.) The family also goes for walks a lot, at dawn. Sonora says this is crazy but changes when she tells of the three of them sitting in the park and hugging. This she too finds beautiful. In the short text, Sonora says ""I'm not joking"" ten times. Alas, neither is Clifton.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1982
Publisher: Dutton