Hips & Buttocks

Poems about hips and buttocks


(Lucille Clifton reading from her poem “homage to my hips”)
**Art: Flow by Monica Stewart (source)

“homage to my hips” by Lucille Clifton (b. 1936-2010; Depew, New York, US; children’s book writer, memoirist) – from Contemporary American Poetry

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

“Theory my Natural Brown Ass” by Sonnet L’Abbe (b. 1973; Toronto, Canada; creative writing professor, literary critic) – from Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets

I’ve paid for too many degrees,
posited too many historical positions,
made too many semiotic apologetics,
forwarded far too many feminist responses
to too many textual materialities

to have an ass this big.

In theory, my ass
does not signify.

But this insistence of the body,
this non-linguistic expression
of inertia and caloric lust,
is a corporeal truth that mental exercise
can’t deconstruct.

Or is it just an inverted absence?
The presence of the lack
of any Aryan heritage?

I’m the post-colonial girl
who went abroad and squatted and lunged
while the maid, snapping out
wet laundry, watched.
Skinny brown bitch, was what I thought!
The poor men looked at my ass
like it was a pair of Boston Cremes. (…)

“January 11, 1997” by Joe Wenderoth (b. 1966; Baltimore, Maryland; epistolary novelist, essayist, film-maker, podcaster)

I love a lady’s bottom. The family objects. The family says this love will mean the end of them. What are they, that this love could mean the end of them? A lady’s bottom is as inevitable as it is lovable. Are we to conclude, then, that the universe is designed to threaten the family? Are we to believe that a lady’s bottom is, in truth, a threat? In truth, the family is a threat, and love has cowered too long.

“A Shallot” by Richard Purdy Wilbur (b. 1921; New York, US; professor, children’s book writer, translator of French plays)

The full cloves
Of your buttocks, the convex
Curve of your belly, the curved
Cleft of your sex—

Out of this corn
That’s planted in strong thighs
The slender stem and radiant
Flower rise.

“About our hips” by Harriet Jacobs

One thought on “Hips & Buttocks”

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