Cream of Wheat | Study Guide

Lucille Clifton

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Lucille Clifton

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Drama, History

Perspective and Narrator

The poem "cream of wheat" is written in the first person; the speaker is the African American man wearing a white chef's hat and jacket pictured on the Cream of Wheat box, whose name in the poem is "Rastus." Cream of Wheat is a ground wheat breakfast mix that is combined with hot milk or water to form a thick, smooth, creamy porridge.


The poem "cream of wheat" is written primarily in the present tense.

About the Title

The title of the poem, "cream of wheat," refers to the hot cereal mix Cream of Wheat, and more specifically to the mascot (an African American man wearing a white chef's hat and jacket) who was featured on the box for many years. As with all the other poems in Clifton's collection Voices (2008), the title "cream of wheat" is uncapitalized.


This study guide for Lucille Clifton's Cream of Wheat offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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