Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Will the Real Nikki Please Stand Up?

Ode to one of my favorite poets, Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni, who describes herself as "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." What she doesn't mention is her numerous published books and poems, her fight for civil rights and her honorary doctorates. She's every woman - it's all in her. 
I don't really know how to describe her style - I would say it's simple, but it's complicated too. I would say it's elegant, but sometimes it's choppy. I would say it's beautiful, and, yes... it is. It's beautiful. See for yourself. 

"a poem is pure energy
horizontally contained
between the mind
of the poet and the ear of the reader
if it does not sing discard the ear
for poetry is song
if it does not delight discard
the heart for poetry is joy
if it does not inform then close
off the brain for it is dead
if it cannot heed the insistent message
that life is precious
which is all we poets
wrapped in our loneliness
are trying to say"

(Excerpt from Poetry - Nikki Giovanni)