Literary Analysis Of Good Times By Lucille Clifton

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By nature, shorter poems are more densely packed with cues and devices because authors cannot express their intended message over the sweeping length of a poem but rather they must be more concise and creative. A poet may write a shorter poem to juxtapose a simple surface message to a more meaningful deeper message. Thus, complexity and artistic value are unrelated to length, but rather, they are developed through masterful writing. “Good Times” by Lucille Clifton embodies the double-edged sword of complex storytelling within a short poem, as she identifies the speaker 's occasional good memories to develop an image of the speaker’s typical abject life. The short poem is crafted with patterns of repetition, for there are so few lines to fit meaningful insight into. In Lucille Clifton’s short poem, “Good Times” she uses repetition for emphasis and uniformity. In her use of repetition and anaphora, Clifton gives the seventeen line poem a lengthier, list-like feel and emphasizes the emotional impact of memories on the speaker, revealing a deeper, more complex aspect to the short, simple poem. The most apparent repetition in “Good Times” is the anaphora that prompts half of th lines. In repeating “and,” Clifton transforms her poem into a uniform, rhythmic list of the speaker 's memories (Clifton 2). Uniformity within the poem creates a sense of…show more content…
A short poem similar to “Good Times” by Lucille Clifton normally would lack dimension and artistic value, however, through Clifton’s masterful writing and specific use of repetition, she elevates the poem to a noteworthy level, telling a complex story in a dense 18 lines. The short, repetitive poem lists an litany of momentary positives that juxtapose the more abundant times that are characterized by hardship. In focusing on “good times,” Clifton reveals the conflict between the present situation and previous memories. In “Good Times,” repetition is used in multiple ways to expose the complexity and depth of a single
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