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In Lucille
Clifton’s poem, “Miss Rosie” the speaker is not
identified. However, readers can imply that the speaker is an
individual who observes Miss Rosie. The individual that can
observer Miss Rosie could be a peer, an elder or even Miss Rosie. The speaker
can be a peer or an elder of Miss Rosie because the speaker tells Miss Rosie’s
past. Miss Rosie can be the speaker because she can have a conversation with
herself in regards to the situations that she faces. Although, it is
significant for readers to understand that the title of the poem represents
multiple meanings. For example, “Miss” can represent a young single
woman but also the verb to lose. Whereas, Rosie can
represent an individual’s nickname “Rose” or the verb to ascend. Miss Rosie loses everything and has to climb back up to
the top.

The speaker
is giving the perception that he or she is observing a homeless person because
the speaker states Miss Rosie is “Wrapped up like
garbage”(2) and “sitting, surrounded by the smell of too old
potato peels” (3-4).Giving  an
illustration of  a homeless person comes
to mind because the speaker is comparing Miss Rosie’s appearance. The first
stanza of the poem shows Miss Rosie is in her most
vulnerable state and the speaker is just looking. For example in today’s
society, people see the less fortunate and are quick to judge, and do not even
know their stories. They may notice the circumstance they face like the comparison
to the garbage and potatoes. For instance, anything could happen in life where
you have to go through a drastic change just to learn a lesson. The speaker
leads readers to believe Rosie time is coming in the second stanza.

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Meanwhile the speaker is observing Miss Rosie and releases
a sense of sympathy. The speaker states Miss Rosie is “waiting
for your mind like next week’s grocery” (9-10). The speaker is just
taking the time to see if Miss Rosie is going to
decide to make a change, waiting to turn things around. The speaker
notes that Miss Rose’s has nothing to look forward too. Change has to happen for good to come back into her life.
The identification comes in play when the speaker in the third stanza reminisces
on Rosie’s youth and her popular days. The author’s message is to inform
the readers that that anyone can fall into poverty. Miss Rosie became homeless
even though she was “the best looking girl in Georgia”(14).Anyone can
be on top or feel as if they are on top of their life and can quickly be in the
situation as Miss Rosie. It does not matter if you are the most gorgeous person
or even wealthiest because situations happen to anyone who let them happen.

Meanwhile, the last three lines in
the poem are where you can find the meaningful message. Rosie goes through
destruction in the entire poem and the speaker uses repetition in the poem to
get the message across. For instance”, I stand up” (16, 18) is being repeated
because the speaker is giving a sense of hope that he or she truly cares for Rosie.
But to also make readers think because the speaker goes from slandering Rosie
to respectfully praising her compared to the beginning of the poem when all the
speaker could do was watch Rosie suffer and go through her hard times.

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