Analysis of Poem “There is a Girl Inside” by Lucille Clifton

In the poem “There is a girl inside” by Lucille Clifton, the poet is speaking about the wonder and allture that comes from being a young girl and her desire to live in youth again. Through the poem, the author leaves a message for the reader that she hope every woman never think of themselves as an old woman. The poem is hopeful because it is an older person remembering the freedom of youth. She compares aging with nature image in the poem; her tone is more powerful and hopeful to shows for the audience how the women desire to the freedom in society.

In the first stanzas, there is a girl inside every woman. She still has her youth which is vigorous and within the aged body. The young spirit is powerful even though the old woman is not physically, the old woman will not leave her life and wonder it in old woman body; she will live fully everyday with the her youth.

The target audience in this poem is all the woman, especially the old woman who still live in youth soul. Likewise, the speaker is an old woman, and she is still young and vital inside herself and the girl in this poem is the speaker’s true self. Clifton is the speaker as well as the author of this poem; as an old woman, she understands the psychology of the woman. She emphasize the ideas of old age; especially towards women; she wants to encourage the women over the world about power, a time of new beginnings, of rebirth, of wildness which always exists in their souls.

Using phrases like green tree, second coming, blossom, she uses nature to compare with youth, aging, and the revival of youth in old age. This also elaborates the gap between age and youth as well as the difference in the woman’s inner and outer presence. Moreover, in the first and second stanzas, the “girl’ in the poem tries to break herself out of her outside appearance of an old woman to become the “green girl”; to contrast, the author use the word “used poet” to remind herself that her outer self is the older woman with her younger self inside like a “green tree” young, fresh and new. In the third stanzas, “she has waited patient as a nun/ for the second coming,” the speaker succeeds when she uses “the second coming” to connect with youth or the revival of youth; it seems her youth, in spite of her “gray hair,” will “blossom”, it reminds the reader of the rebirth of Jesus Christ. The “girl inside” of an woman in the “used poem” dies and rebirths for the “second coming” in the old aging.

The focus of this poem is the conflict between the woman and nature; the woman imagines that nature is where she wants to be reborn. In nature, the tree can reborn from season to season; however, the human is only to have one life. Moreover, this is the conflict between the youth and the aging language in this poem. The author uses “girl” and “randy” to show the freedom of the woman in aging, compared with “bones” and “gray hair” to represent the anti-aging of the woman. Thus, the images of nature and the character’s appearance are completely different. This comparison causes for the audience member in the confuse about the desire of the character; she wants to become youth but she still wants to keep the anti-aging appearance of herself. She always accept the truth of her aging presence but she desires to get freedom of the youth.

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