Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Woman" by Nikki Giovanni

By now, if you have been reading my blog, you know that Nikki Giovanni is my all time favorite poet. She writes and conveys her messages in ways that really speaks to my heart. 

This is really corny, but I love to hear her read her own writings. I feel really crazy for admitting this, but in my car, I have the The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection CD, and sometimes when I ride alone, I listen to the CD. OK, I already know that this is true nerd behaviorBut the CD really is awesome, and she gives commentary between the poems that helps the listeners to understand her and her poetry.

On the CD, she shares poems about Tupac, Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz, the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Langston Hughes, being in love, going to the moon etc.     

Listening to the CD really sets my heart on fire.

Below is one of my favorite poems by Nikki Giovanni that I have been analyzing with my students for years. It always leads to great discussions and leaves my girl students feeling empowered and boy students feeling attacked. Boy, do I have to do a lot of explaining.

Woman is not on the CD, but I really wish that it was:

                                   Woman by Nikki Giovanni

                                           she wanted to be a blade
                                            of grass amid the fields
                                            but he wouldn’t agree
                                            to be the dandelion

                                            she wanted to be a robin singing
                                            through the leaves
                                            but he refused to be
                                            her tree

                                            she spun herself into a web
                                            and looking for a place to rest
                                            turned to him
                                            but he stood straight
                                            declining to be her corner

                                            she tried to be a book
                                            but he wouldn’t read

                                            she turned herself into a bulb
                                            but he wouldn’t let her grow

                                            she decided to become
                                            a woman
                                            and though he still refused
                                            to be a man
                                            she decided it was all

Deep Right?
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