Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nikki Giovanni - My Sister and Me

My Sister and Me
Nikki Giovanni

Chocolate cookies
Chocolate cakes
Chocolate fudge
Chocolate lakes
Chocolate kisses
Chocolate hugs
Two little chocolate girls
In a chocolate rug

No one can find us
We're all alone
Two little chocolate girls
Running from home

Chocolate chickies
Chocolate bunnies
Chocolate smiles
From chocolate mommies
Chocolate rabbits
Chocolate snakes
Two little chocolate girls
Wide awake

What an adventure
My, what fun
My sister and me
Still on the run
Still on the run
My sister and me
On the run

©2009 Nikki Giovanni. All rights reserved.

Nikki Giovanni (or to approximate what I said when I heard that she'd be sending a poem this way, "Nikki Giovanni!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!") writes fabulous poetry for children and adults, is well known as an activist and educator, and, among her large number of awards and accolades, has a Grammy nomination for a spoken word collection of her poetry. Oh... and she's also had a species of bat named after her (Micronycteris giovanniae, for the record). I believe, though can't be certain, that she is the only poet on the list of 30 this year who can make that claim.

I find that Nikki Giovanni can take something personal and specific and run with it in a poem, creating an impact that's ultimately far more powerful to me than the individual observations and details within the piece. Beyond that, I just happen to think her poetry for children is incredibly engaging, and that the 2008 anthology she edited, Hip Hop Speaks to Children, is a "must have" poetry book for kids. I could easily fill pages here today, but I will stop right now and simply say that I'm incredibly honored and happy to have a poem by Nikki Giovanni here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday gave us Janet Wong's My Green Grandfather. Tomorrow... The Poet of the World by J. Patrick Lewis!


tanita✿davis said...

I imagine little brown girls with full mouths and smeary fingers -- in the eyes of grown girls with boxes of See's in their desk drawers.


I heard her read year before last -- it was an EXPERIENCE. *sigh*

Nancy Arruda said...

Absolutely Wonderful! I agree with you that Hip Hop Speaks to Children is a must have in any library and classroom. Thank you and Nikki Giovanni and for all these super poems on your blog. Poetry speaks to children!