This page is in dedication to my favorite poetess Nikki Giovanni. She is also my soror, my sister. Although I have never actually met her, her poetry connects us together. Her works and acheivements are numerous. This page was designed to bring out the best of Nikki Giovanni.
I will give a brief description of some of my favorite poems(12) of Nikki taken from the book
Ego Trippin' and other Poems for Children. I will also give direct criticism about
Nikki's work taken from other great authors and literary critics. Finally, a list of links to other Giovanni
sites can be found at the end of the page.
1. "Ego Trippin": This is a very inspirational poem for, about, and towards the African American female. It gives an uplifting account of how the world was formed and great moments in history where the African-American woman has shown great strength and courage.
2. "A Poem": This poem was written in honor of another great African-American poet, Mr Langston Hughes. She gives a great deal of reverence to the late Hughes. She acknowledges the fact that one day she will die and hopefully see him above.
3. "Poem for Two Jameses": This poem is about the prenatal experience on the literal level. Poetically, she gives us a view of life. She implies that somehow we are all trapped in a cold world, kicking and screaming to get out.
4. "Poem for Lloyd": This work is about how Giovanni is anticipating death. On one hand, she does not want to die. At the same time, she speaks of killing death,
5. "For the Masai Warriors": This poem gives reverence to the mighty Masai Warriors as the title implies. She places herself in their shoes and imagines herself running through the great savannahs and grasslands of Africa.
6. "Word Poem": This is a short and simple work about the creation and destruction of things whether they be material or physical.
7. "The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.": This work makes only mention of Dr. King's great words "Free at last, free at last." Giovanni uses them to express her feelings that a slaves' true freedom comes with death.
8. "Black Power": This piece was written for the militant Black Panther Party. In this work, Giovanni talks of how she and friends were once gathered on the sidewalk talking when a police officer started to harass them. As this was happening, one friend turned into a panther and pounced the cop.
9. "Poem for Flora": This work tells of a young African-American female who went out church and learned about the goodness of God and all the wonderful Bible stories. All the while, the little girl can only relate to the story of "Black and comely" Sheba. She thinks how much she wants to be like Sheba.
10. "Beautiful Black Men": This is yet another reverence poem. She gives an ode to Black men. She mentions some by name and acknowledges how much she admires their looks, talent, and variety.
11. "Revolutionary Dreams": This poem expresses how Nikki once had dreams of taking over America and changing the entire nation. Now, she realizes that to be a true revolutionist means being a natural woman.
12. "Nikki Rosa": This is a deep poem with reference to Nikki's childhood. She tells of her hardships and how no white writer can ever write about her. She feels they can never truly understand that "Black Love is Black Wealth."
Places You Should Visit
What the Experts Say about Nikki--Brief criticism from leading authors and critics
Nikki Giovanni Home Page--Biographical, bibliographical, and general information
More Nikki Giovanni--Does not always work. (Sorry)
African American Literature
Nubian Message---Black History Everyday
What Nikki and I Share--Our Sisterhood