Article shared by Rashmi Baid
In “Homage to My Hips ” the poetess Lucille Clifton my means of using hips as the symbol explains the significance of woman power in today’s world. Renowned for supporting African-American and women’s oppression, Clifton in this poem points her finger to the fact that women are not born to be suppressed by men, as a matter of fact, women are equal to men in any field provided they are given equal opportunity.
When Clifton says “I have known them to put a spell on a man” she actually means that each and every man can be seduced by any woman if she is willing to do so. “Empowerment of women” is what the poetess is emphasizing on. Being a feminist, Lucille is strictly against that portion of the society which thinks that women are second rate men, subordinate to men and are only meant for serving men and rearing and tearing of children.
The poem is somewhat brief but still it is one of the most influential poems when it comes to understanding the power of a woman. The poem actually makes the readers think that not only is a woman equal and capable to a man but as a matter of fact she is stronger than a man emotionally if not physically. Only a woman can cry all night long and wake up as if nothing is wrong. In fact, nature has bestowed woman with a gift which a man can never be capable of; i.e. giving birth to a child.The world will stop growing if a woman does not give birth. The whole world is in fact dependent on a woman. How in such conditions can a man or a society think that women are objects of domination?
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When Lucille says “ these hips have never been enslaved, they go where they want to go, they do what they want to do” she also emphasizes the fact that not only is a woman as equal and as capable as a man but she also possesses the power of doing what she wants to and living a life she dreams.
Her dreams cannot be shattered no matter what the circumstances are and once a woman is determined to achieve what she wishes, even the whole Universe supports her in her righteous deeds.
Symbols, imagery and wordplay dominate the whole poem and once the readers reads the poem he or she completely understands what the poet wants to explain: women need to be empowered if the society needs to grow by leaps and bounds. The poetess dream has come into existence and it is visible in this 21 st century world where women and men stand as equals in the society as a whole. It is a matter of pride for the societies and the world at large that today no distinction is made between the two opposite sexes.