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Nikki Giovanni
About the Poet

Nikki Giovanni is a renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. She has published more than 30 books for adults and children.

The poems in this issue of Delaware Poetry Review will appear this fall in her forthcoming collection of poems, Chasing Utopia, from HarperCollins.

Spring 2013 Poems »

Poets shouldn’t commit
That would leave the world
To those without imaginations
Or hearts

That would bequeath
To the world
A mangled syntax
And no love
Of champagne

Poets must live
In misery and ecstasy
To sing a song
With the katydids

Poets should be ashamed
To die
Before they kiss
The sun


The Poem
(for My Sister Poet)

We have grown old

A part we married
Off our young
Buried some parents
Hoped for the redemption
A good life can bring

Not all ways understanding
What a good
Life is

Together we wrestled
A department
A college
A university
For the dream
Of an English vision
And the hope
For an English stand

We have not all ways
Been united

We moved
From one Drill field
To another
One challenge
To another
One tragedy
To a triumph

We have survived

We grow old
In the security
That we speak the language
Of the Gods
We speak metaphor
We speak Love
We ride bicycles and rockets
We plant garlic and tomatoes
We harvest cinnamon
We distill that golden bourbon
We are poets

We speak the language of tomorrow’s dream



Before You Jump Off A Bridge or
Hang Yourself or Be Unhappy Please
Consider: Live for yourself; Those Who Hate You
Have No Purchase
I don’t think
There is
a definition
b definition
    but only
the definition
when it comes to who you R
but then I don’t
Facebook   or
Twitter     or
YouTube   or
Ask anyone’s permission
To fuck or not to fuck
That is not the question
To love or to be
No Brainer
Who you are
Is you
And no one can
Nikki Giovanni ~

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