Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nikki Grimes - All Eyes

All Eyes
Nikki Grimes

I stood at the altar
twitching in God's shadow
dizzy with
the scent of lilies,
fear a broom
that swept away
the Easter poem
I'd memorized.
I blinked back
at twenty rows
of eyes, wondered
How does it go, again?
Then, always reckless,
opened my mouth.
But all that came out
half sung,
half whispered was
"Christ the Lord
has risen today.

©2009 Nikki Grimes. All rights reserved.

Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, a Coretta Scott King Award winner, an NAACP Image Award winner, and a novelist, poet, and picture book author who writes wonderfully for children, teens, and adults. And really, that just starts the list, but I do try to keep this part short!

I have been a huge fan of Nikki Grimes' poetry from the moment I first read it, and All Eyes is a great example of why (and, of course, there are many reasons why, but I'll try to keep this part short, too!). Now honestly, I've never stood at an altar with a memorized Easter poem swept out of my mind... but while the poem captures a very specific moment in time, it speaks to a universal experience and emotion. So, yeah, I read this, and I'm at that altar, transported there by poetry. This happens to me a lot with Nikki Grimes' poems, and that's one reason I'm thrilled having her be a part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we had Avis Hartley's Perfect Pitch (an acrostic). Tomorrow... Lee Bennett Hopkins with SPRING.


tanita✿davis said...

How cute -- haven't we all had part in some school play or something, and then utterly forgotten our lines? Of course, not everyone would choose to go on to the next thing at the top of their head -- how cute.

laurasalas said...

Oh, this is wonderful. "Twitching in God's shadow"? Fantastic. This poem totally puts me IN the moment. Grimes' poetry so often features kids who speak their minds with conviction (even if it's not what they meant to say). I love that.

Marinela said...

Nikki Grimes' poetry so often features kids who speak their minds with conviction!
Really nice!

James said...

Love "fear a broom"! I also could feel myself in the speaker's place. Not that I've ever forgotten anything, of course, but it was so well done anyway :-)

Linda said...

Love the voice in this poem. Nikki is one of my favorite poets.
Our children are very fortunate to have so many talented folks writing for them.

Kelly Polark said...

Beautiful poem for this day!

DJ said...

What I find so wonderful about Nikki Grimes' work is that she translates so well the emotions of being a kid. When I read her work to others I feel like I'm there!