"Blessing the Boats" is a poem written by Lucille Clifton, a renowned American poet and author known for her works exploring themes of African American identity, womanhood, and social justice.
The poem, which is part of Clifton's collection "The Book of Light," centers on the ritual of blessing boats as they prepare to set out to sea. In this context, the boats symbolize the struggles and challenges that we face in life, as we embark on new journeys and navigate the choppy waters of existence.
The speaker in the poem takes on the role of a spiritual guide, offering blessings and prayers for the safety and success of the boats as they embark on their journey. The speaker speaks to the boats in a tender and loving way, using words of encouragement and hope to lift them up and send them on their way.
As the poem progresses, the speaker's words become increasingly poetic and lyrical, evoking the majesty and power of the sea and the forces that shape our lives. The imagery of the waves and the sky, the wind and the sun, all contribute to a sense of grandeur and mystery, reminding us of the vastness and beauty of the world around us.
At the same time, the poem also touches on themes of loss and resilience, as the speaker acknowledges the dangers and setbacks that the boats may face on their journey. But rather than dwelling on these challenges, the speaker instead offers words of hope and strength, reminding the boats (and by extension, the reader) that they are capable of overcoming any obstacle that comes their way.
Overall, "Blessing the Boats" is a powerful and moving poem that speaks to the universal human experience of facing challenges and seeking guidance and support in times of need. Through its rich imagery and evocative language, the poem encourages us to embrace our journeys with courage and hope, knowing that we have the strength and resilience to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. So, the poem "Blessing the Boats" is a beautiful and inspiring work that encourages us to embrace the journey of life with hope and resilience.