She’s been around a long time. She’s done her time and
speaks her mind. I heard her speak last spring and now whenever I read her works
I hear her voice while reading it. I can picture her talking about Amos ‘n’ Andy and why the show was popular as well as important to
Black families. In her book Chasing Utopia I can hear her
reaffirming my feelings about how fantastic Nina Simone was. Ms. Giovanni talks
about meeting Nina Simone in a bookstore in Harlem and that even though she was
famous she (Ms. Giovanni) invited her to a party. Her mother told her Nina
Simone is not coming to your party and Nina Simone came.
The best thing about poetry is that you can do a hit and run.
You can touch on a topic and move on to hit on another one and Nikki Giovanni
does that well. In her poem Werewolf Avoidance, she suggests “that our poems
should be strong in our emotions and our words that might make us difficult to
live with”. She’s not talking "namby-pamby poetry" when she talks about Sarah
Palin in her poem, The Lone Ranger Rides the Lonesome Trail Again. Sometimes she's spicy, sometimes she's sweet. Nikki Giovanni does it well.