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homage to my hips

homage to my hips

by Lucille Clifton

Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. (1-5)

The "petty places" the speaker references are a metaphor for the petty aspects of society which try to judge the speaker (and maybe even women in general) by fitting her into small, limiting stereotypes.

Quote #2

these hips
are free hips. (6-7)

In many ways, this poem enacts the process of a woman taking control of her own body – and by extension, her own life. She's free, just like her hips are free.

Quote #3

they don't like to be held back. (8)

Clifton's making an oblique reference here to a rather long history of repression, when women had less access to education, jobs, and all sorts of opportunities for advancement.

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