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The Collected Poetry, 1968-1998

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This omnibus covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from 1967–1983. THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI will include the complete volumes of five adult books of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. Nikki self–published her first book Black F This omnibus covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from 1967–1983. THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI will include the complete volumes of five adult books of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. Nikki self–published her first book Black Feeling, Black Talk/BlackJudgement in 1969, selling 10,000 copies; William Morrow published in 1970. Know for its iconic revolutionary phrases, it is heralded as one of the most important volumes of modern African–American poetry and is considered the seminal volume of Nikki's body of work. My House (Morrow 1972) marks a new dimension in tone and philosphy––This is Giovanni's first foray into the autobiographical. In The Women and the Men (Morrow 1975), Nikki displays her compassion for the people, things and places she has encountered––She reveres the ordinary and is in search of the extraordinary. Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (Morrow 1978) is one of the most poignant and introspective of all Giovanni's collections. These poems chronicle the drastic change that took place during the 1970s––when the dreams of the Civil Rights era seemed to have evaporated. Those Who Ride the Night Winds (Morrow 1983) is devoted to "the day trippers and midnight cowboys," the ones who have devoted their lives to pushing the limits of the human condition and shattered the constraints of the stautus quo.


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This omnibus covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from 1967–1983. THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI will include the complete volumes of five adult books of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. Nikki self–published her first book Black F This omnibus covers Nikki Giovanni's complete work of poetry from 1967–1983. THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI will include the complete volumes of five adult books of poetry: Black Feeling Black Talk/Black Judgement, My House, The Women and the Men, Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day, and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. Nikki self–published her first book Black Feeling, Black Talk/BlackJudgement in 1969, selling 10,000 copies; William Morrow published in 1970. Know for its iconic revolutionary phrases, it is heralded as one of the most important volumes of modern African–American poetry and is considered the seminal volume of Nikki's body of work. My House (Morrow 1972) marks a new dimension in tone and philosphy––This is Giovanni's first foray into the autobiographical. In The Women and the Men (Morrow 1975), Nikki displays her compassion for the people, things and places she has encountered––She reveres the ordinary and is in search of the extraordinary. Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (Morrow 1978) is one of the most poignant and introspective of all Giovanni's collections. These poems chronicle the drastic change that took place during the 1970s––when the dreams of the Civil Rights era seemed to have evaporated. Those Who Ride the Night Winds (Morrow 1983) is devoted to "the day trippers and midnight cowboys," the ones who have devoted their lives to pushing the limits of the human condition and shattered the constraints of the stautus quo.

30 review for The Collected Poetry, 1968-1998

  1. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    If Giovanni is a new name to you, she is worth reading. The book begins in her angry Black Power days but she moves from the political to the personal over the years. But you never forget that she is Black. She is proud to be Black and angry and distressed with the discrimination faced by Blacks for so long. You will find the words Black, colored, Negro and nigger throughout, each with their own meaning . Her work is sensitizing and informing. There is also humor and attitude. She portrays herse If Giovanni is a new name to you, she is worth reading. The book begins in her angry Black Power days but she moves from the political to the personal over the years. But you never forget that she is Black. She is proud to be Black and angry and distressed with the discrimination faced by Blacks for so long. You will find the words Black, colored, Negro and nigger throughout, each with their own meaning . Her work is sensitizing and informing. There is also humor and attitude. She portrays herself as a person who will tell you what she thinks and her work seems to bear that out. The 25 page Introduction and Chronology to The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni is a presentation of the poet Nikki Giovanni for those like me who have only recently heard of her. To read through this volume of Giovanni’s poetry is indeed to read “the story” of the last thirty years (note: 1968 - 1998)of American life, as that life has been lived, observed, and reflected about by a racially conscious Black woman. I give The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni four stars. It was both fun and thought provoking. If I was going to recommend just one of her books, it would be Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day. I liked just about every poem in that book. But this collection gives you six for the price of one. It is almost totally free verse with the smallest amount of rhyming. The Collection contains all the poetry from her six major books during the 1968 to 1998 time period including Cotton Candy. The book also includes a good deal of biographical and descriptive material that is great for the uninitiated reader. This book is a teacher. It helps you learn. It offers some guidance. Don’t get to page 74 like me before realizing that there are 70 pages of notes about many of the poems at the back of the book. The notes don’t tell you what the poems mean but what some of the references mean. Since I lived through that time, I knew many of the references but there was other descriptive information in the notes. They made the poems more meaningful and readable for me, especially if I read the notes before reading the poem. The back of the book contains a good deal of additional information about Giovanni. Thanks to whoever put this book together. It is an excellent learning package. For me, it would be an excellent model for all books of poetry. The poetry is often based on current events so some knowledge of the era when Giovanni is writing is useful, but if you were not born yet, the notes at the back of the book are great. Many of us did live through that time; Giovanni was born in 1943 so is three years older than I am. The book was published in 2003 and represents the collection of the poet’s work from 1968 through 1998. Taken from the Introduction written by Virginia C. Fowler in 1995: Giovanni does not believe … that the poet … has visionary powers beyond those of people who are not poets or writers. She also denies the power of poetry to change the world, as she has stated, “I don’t think that writers ever changed the mind of anybody. I think we always preach to the saved.” When you read the poetry, you may not agree. I cannot really tell since I am one of the “saved”. Is a poet always accurate about the impact of her work? To paraphrase Ms. Fowler, Giovanni believes that aesthetic value emerges from and is dependent on moral values and that the poet writes not from experience but from empathy. (That is about is deep as I can wade with my limited knowledge about how poetry happens! But I wanted to throw that in for the one expert who may read this to see what the common person gets.) Some of Giovanni’s poetry takes a new form: Published in 1983, Those Who Ride the Night Winds marks Giovanni’s innovation of a new “lineless” poetic form in which word groups are separated from each other by ellipses rather than line breaks. I have never experienced that format so it took some getting used to and emphasized that what Giovanni writes is often a narrative. Worth checking out if you consider yourself a poetry person. Nikki Giovanni’s poetry is meant to be read out loud. And I found it enjoyable to read it out loud to myself. I also looked for some sources of her talking and reading her poems. I found some on youtube. Talking about Rosa Parks, Harry Potter and poetry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efhxc4... Nikki Giovanni gives her very funny opinion on Bill Cosby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo9UaH... An interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPndtZ... And there are more. Try reading some out loud to yourself. You might find that you are pretty good at it. Here’s one to try right now: Revolutionary Dreams i used to dream militant dreams of taking over america to show these white folks how it should be done i used to dream radical dreams of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis i even used to think i’d be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace then i awoke and dug that if i dreamed natural dreams of being a natural woman doing what a woman does when she’s natural i would have a revolution Nikki Giovanni is a poet and reading her poetry and voicing her mind she becomes an actor. She has quite an in person presence. Her poetry is in the oral tradition so benefits from being spoken. Some could be lyrics to a song. She has a sharp mind and is blunt to share it. She is available on CD and DVD as well as in print.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This actually made me feel a bit of comfort after the recent election. It's not that Giovanni's poetry is sweetness and light, but more of a controlled rage. And in that rage is a sense of comfort, strangely enough.

  3. 4 out of 5

    C.M. Arnold

    Full disclosure...I was never into poetry. Didn't like reading it. Didn't like writing it. Or so I thought. I love music, and music is basically poetry, right? About a year or so ago I started coming around to writing it. But then you think...how do I know if I'm even writing this right if I don't read poetry? Now...I've read poetry here and there. When it was part of a curriculum. When someone I know shares some poems on Facebook. When I skim a page or two of this one ultra-basic poetry book th Full disclosure...I was never into poetry. Didn't like reading it. Didn't like writing it. Or so I thought. I love music, and music is basically poetry, right? About a year or so ago I started coming around to writing it. But then you think...how do I know if I'm even writing this right if I don't read poetry? Now...I've read poetry here and there. When it was part of a curriculum. When someone I know shares some poems on Facebook. When I skim a page or two of this one ultra-basic poetry book that comes across my desk at work. But none of what I'd been exposed to appealed to me. So, last year, I started seeking out poetry for the first time. I Googled two of the most prominent publications that publish poetry, and read the first couple of entries. I had no earthly idea what those people were talking about. And I'm not being facetious or dramatic...I really could not tell you the meaning of a single thing they said. It really all comes down to preference, I guess. I didn't want pretty lines, I wanted a punch. I didn't want for it to go over my head, I wanted it to grab me...shake me, stir me. Fast forward to last month. I'm at a really nice bookstore. I want to buy my first poetry book. I let my senses guide me, and bought a Nikki Giovanni AND a Sylvia Plath. I started with Nikki. Let me just say, Nikki punches. She definitely punches. She's not just waxing whimsy for sh*ts and giggles, she is saying something. She's saying everything, really. I mean some of the stuff she said...especially the early stuff...wow. I'm not as educated on her as I should be (in the process) but I have to imagine she got a good bit of push back and flak. She was exceptionally uncensored. Exceptionally blatant. Exceptionally bold. I loved it. She is never without personality. Never without purpose. While many of the poems were scathing in seriousness, there was also so much humor, and sarcasm, and witty snark. Again, I loved it. I never felt confused or thought "what's the point?" like I did when reading those recent poems from those two popular publications. Now, occasionally I had to look stuff up. Some of the references being made were before my time and wouldn't immediately ring a bell without context. And occasionally I did have to ponder a line for a minute, but then it would click and it would be all the better. I like coy metaphor and cloaked entendre and acute cleverness that makes you have to stop and think. It's intentional opaqueness and over-obscuring where I get turned-off. I didn't have to contend with the "extra" stuff in this book, though. Literally, I uttered "damn" as many times as I do when listening to a bar-filled rap record. I was pleased with my first adult poetry book, and now I'm on to the second.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    Nikki Giovanni has always seemed to me to be the quintessential modern poet: her social concerns reflect the ubiquitous tensions of her time, her more introspective work is solidly in the tradition of modern navel gazers. For anyone who likes that oeuvre, this will be delightful. I found it tiresome. Giovanni's themes are worthwhile, of course, and none of my dislike of her poetry stems from her honest and relevant reflections on the issues of race and womanhood. It stems from her voi Nikki Giovanni has always seemed to me to be the quintessential modern poet: her social concerns reflect the ubiquitous tensions of her time, her more introspective work is solidly in the tradition of modern navel gazers. For anyone who likes that oeuvre, this will be delightful. I found it tiresome. Giovanni's themes are worthwhile, of course, and none of my dislike of her poetry stems from her honest and relevant reflections on the issues of race and womanhood. It stems from her voice, not what she says with it. This collection showcases every free verse cliche I've ever seen and detested: lower-case "I" for no reason, random spaces for some ill-defined emphasis. I used to write pages of this stuff as an angsty teenager, and while the thematic content of Giovanni's work is undoubtedly more significant, I don't think her technical ability is all that removed from every other sensitive artist-wannabe with feelings, an over-affection for the space bar and an antipathy for the caps-lock. Of course, you could point out Giovanni's popularity as some kind of justification for her art. That's fine; different people like different things, and apparently, a lot of people like this stuff. But I think that's because this stuff appeals to the broader audience, because it demands so little of the reader. The forms aren't complicated or technically sophisticated, the themes are universally respected already. There's nothing to rub up against, nothing to grow from. This is poetry as most people like it; I'm not, in this case, most people.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    This selected works collection was my first introduction to Giovanni's poetry. When I began reading it, I wasn't really getting into it. I appreciated the significance of her early work in the context of the era it was written, but the pieces themselves from that time period are so vitriolic and focused on putting down all white people it seems that that is all they accomplish - being angry and pejorative; the form and the message are not very artful. What I loved about this selection, though, i This selected works collection was my first introduction to Giovanni's poetry. When I began reading it, I wasn't really getting into it. I appreciated the significance of her early work in the context of the era it was written, but the pieces themselves from that time period are so vitriolic and focused on putting down all white people it seems that that is all they accomplish - being angry and pejorative; the form and the message are not very artful. What I loved about this selection, though, is that it spans her career (at least until the year of publication), so you get to see her work mature and improve. And, in the preface, a nice chronology of her life is provided, so you can understand her poems in the context of historical events and her personal life events too. As I progressed through the book, I found myself really enjoying the poems more and more. I'd love to hear her read some day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I am a little biased about some of the poetry in this volume. As a teenage "poet" I was introduced to Nikki's work, being black, being female, it was almost important for me, with all those traits to read her as a writer. I liked "My House" and another one whose name escapes me (it's been 16 years). And all of those poems are included in this volume, but since the poems from the books I just mentioned were given to me by my Aunt, the Black Revolutionary (wouldn't know it by looking at her but sh I am a little biased about some of the poetry in this volume. As a teenage "poet" I was introduced to Nikki's work, being black, being female, it was almost important for me, with all those traits to read her as a writer. I liked "My House" and another one whose name escapes me (it's been 16 years). And all of those poems are included in this volume, but since the poems from the books I just mentioned were given to me by my Aunt, the Black Revolutionary (wouldn't know it by looking at her but she was in the 70's) and I was 15 when they were passed down, I'm sort of less than objective when reading her other ones, but I've always liked Nikki's style.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Really enjoying seeing the evolution of this famous poet, whom I got to meet recently. Wonderful poems about all sorts of topics from politics and history to love and family. Great voice, such a treasure. I really appreciated the notes in the back of the volume that explained who some of the poems were dedicated to and gave historical background for many of the events that Giovanni referenced.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sala Bim

    I met Ms. Giovanni at a national conference once and she was kind enough to autograph my copy of this book for me. Amazingly prolific, frank, and insightful woman, and this wonderful and deft collection of her poetry justly reflects that. Inspiring!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicole George

    One of my favorite poets of all time. Don't just think because she has a cool name ;) The Real Miss Nikki G

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Quite possible my favorite poetry book of all time. Nikki Giovanni is amazing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leeann

    an unforgettable collection of Black American poetry written by an unforgettable Black American woman. there is nothing else to be said.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pam Gary

    She tells it like it is. Her choice and arrangement of words is superb.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hasan Makhzoum

    Poetry Is a Trestle Poetry is a trestle spanning the distance between what i feel and what i say like a locomotive i rush full speed ahead trusting your strength to carry me over sometimes we share a poem because people are near and they would notice me noticing you so i write X and you write O and we both win sometimes we share a poem because i'm washing the dishes and you're looking at your news or sometimes we make a poem because it's Poetry Is a Trestle Poetry is a trestle spanning the distance between what i feel and what i say like a locomotive i rush full speed ahead trusting your strength to carry me over sometimes we share a poem because people are near and they would notice me noticing you so i write X and you write O and we both win sometimes we share a poem because i'm washing the dishes and you're looking at your news or sometimes we make a poem because it's Sunday and you want ice cream while i want cookies but always we share a poem because belief predates action and i believe the most beautiful poem ever heard is your heart racing *** Poem For My Nephew I wish i were a shadow oh wow! when they put the light on me I’d grow longer and taller and BLACKER *** The Laws of Motion The laws of science teach us a pound of gold weighs as much as a pound of flour though if dropped from any undetermined height in their natural state one would reach bottom and one would fly away Laws of motion tell us an inert object is more difficult to propel than an object heading in the wrong direction is to turn around. Motion being energy—inertia—apathy. Apathy equals hostility. Hostility—violence. Violence being energy is its own virtue. Laws of motion teach us Black people are no less confused because of our Blackness than we are diffused because of our powerlessness. Man we are told is the only animal who smiles with his lips. The eyes however are the mirror of the soul The problem with love is not what we feel but what we wish we felt when we began to feel we should feel something. Just as publicity is not production: seduction is not seductive If I could make a wish I'd wish for all the knowledge of all the world. Black may be beautiful Professor Micheau says but knowledge is power. Any desirable object is bought and sold—any neglected object declines in value. It is against man's nature to be in either category If white defines Black and good defines evil then men define women or women scientifically speaking describe men. If sweet is the opposite of sour and heat the absence of cold then love is the contradiction of pain and beauty is in the eye of the beheld Sometimes I want to touch you and be touched in return. But you think I'm grabbing and I think you're shirking and Mama always said to look out for men like you So I go to the streets with my lips painted red and my eyes carefully shielded to seduce the world my reluctant lover And you go to your men slapping fives feeling good posing as a man because you know as long as you sit very very still the laws of motion will be in effect. *** Revolutionary Dreams I used to dream militant dreams of taking over america to show these white folks how it should be done i used to dream radical dreams of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis i even used to think i'd be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace then i awoke and dug that if i dreamed natural dreams of being a natural woman doing what a woman does when she's natural ***

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    I haven't really mastered the art of reading a book of poetry straight through. Some, maybe most, go in one eye and out the other. That's all me. I don't know how to read. That said, I have some strong impressions of Giovanni's poetry, and I had the opportunity to experience some of her later experiments, by which I mean the poems which use ellipses in lieu of line breaks. My brain had a really tough time adjusting to these: I think I've lost mental elasticity. Spending 15 minutes or so str I haven't really mastered the art of reading a book of poetry straight through. Some, maybe most, go in one eye and out the other. That's all me. I don't know how to read. That said, I have some strong impressions of Giovanni's poetry, and I had the opportunity to experience some of her later experiments, by which I mean the poems which use ellipses in lieu of line breaks. My brain had a really tough time adjusting to these: I think I've lost mental elasticity. Spending 15 minutes or so straight experiencing these (like "Hands: for Mother's Day") would put me in the headspace to appreciate this, but it was never easy. Poems which stood out to me. "The True Import of Present Dialogue, Black vs. Negro" "From a Logical Point of View" "For Saundra" "Poem for a Lady Whose Voice I Like" "Straight Talk" "I Laughed When I Wrote It" "And Another Thing" "Luxury" "Age" "Hands: For Mother's Day" "I Wrote a Good Omelet"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Engle

    Absolutely splendid! Although this only covers her poetry up to 1998, still that's 30 years' worth of writing ... very honest and direct, completely "down-home" ... now to find the collection for the past twenty years ...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    One of my new favorite poets not a book to read if you want to quietly float on a pool of rose petals - although maybe if the pool was filled with the blood of the revolution. Such timeless poems that could have been written this year - if you changed nixon to trump. Nothing held back.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julianna

    this collection is like a close friend you’ve carried with you through several lifetimes.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anima

    "let my world be defined by my skin and the color of my people for we spirit to spirit will embrace the world" Ego-Tripping (there may be a reason) "I was born in the Congo I walked to the Fertile Crescent and built The Sphinx I designed a pyramid so tough that a star That only glows every one hundred years falls Into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad I sat on the throne Drinking nectar wi "let my world be defined by my skin and the color of my people for we spirit to spirit will embrace the world" Ego-Tripping (there may be a reason) "I was born in the Congo I walked to the Fertile Crescent and built The Sphinx I designed a pyramid so tough that a star That only glows every one hundred years falls Into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad I sat on the throne Drinking nectar with Allah I got hot and sent an ice age to Europe To cool my thirst My oldest daughter is Nefertiti The tears from my birth pains Created the Nile I am a beautiful woman I gazed on the forest and burned Out the Sahara desert With a packet of goat's meat And a change of clothes I crossed it in two hours I am a gazelle so swift So swift you can't catch me For a birthday present when he was three I gave my son Hannibal an elephant He gave me Rome for mother's day My strength flows ever on My son Noah built New/Ark and I stood proudly at the helm As we sailed on a soft summer day I turned myself into myself and was Jesus Men intone my loving name All praises All praises I am the one who would save ............................... I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission I mean...I...can fly Like a bird in the sky"

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wanted to give myself the time and the space to write a review of this collection that would really do it justice, but, unlike Nikki Giovanni, I just don't have that gift of language, style, and form. When I was in elementary school, I once memorized "Nikki-Rosa" for an oratorical contest. Since then I've read the occasional Nikki Giovanni poem or essay here and there, but I've never taken the time to sit and read through any of her poetry volumes. I'm so very happy that I finally did. My only I wanted to give myself the time and the space to write a review of this collection that would really do it justice, but, unlike Nikki Giovanni, I just don't have that gift of language, style, and form. When I was in elementary school, I once memorized "Nikki-Rosa" for an oratorical contest. Since then I've read the occasional Nikki Giovanni poem or essay here and there, but I've never taken the time to sit and read through any of her poetry volumes. I'm so very happy that I finally did. My only regret is that I didn't read this sooner. Giovanni is endlessly innovative and dynamic. The things that she does with structure and verse....It's simply incomparable. Her work is firmly and solidly poetry. But it is also genre-bending, and this becomes very apparent when you read 'Those Who Ride the Night Winds' and bear witness to the creation of line-less poetic form. As far as the content, some would say that, over time, you see a "depoliticization" of her work. What I mean by that is, at the start of her career, when she was a visible member of the Black Arts Movement, her work was undoubtedly political. In earlier volumes like 'Black Feeling Black Talk' or 'Black Judgement,' Giovanni's critique of what bell hooks would later call "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is very clear. Later volumes like 'My House' and 'Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day' have a very different, more personal feel. However, I think that this binary is dangerous. I wouldn't categorize the earlier half of the collection as "more political" and the latter half as "more personal" because, if you read closely, you will see that throughout her career, Giovanni has seamlessly intertwined the personal and the political, the emotional and the intellectual. Through and through, this poetry collection is all about the many dimensions of Black life and the numerous facets of Black lives. In some of the poetry volumes included in this collection, perhaps one element is more visible than the other, but, most assured, all elements are present. In the interview with Jill Scott at the end of the collection, Giovanni remarks, "The collection really shows my growth, my understanding. I don't want to say wisdom because I am not trying to be some sort of Buddha, but I've learned so much and I want my work to show that. I want to keep growing. It was important to me that my work grow." That growth is visible. And so much more. Nikki Giovanni is one of the most gifted poets of our time, and after reading this collection, you will know exactly why. My favorite verse? from "Balances" ('Black Judgement'): "and i've begun (as a reaction to a feeling) to balance the pleasure of loneliness against the pain of loving you"

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Woah! My first experience with an NG poem was "Knoxville, Tennessee," a lighthearted descriptive poem. I had no idea she was a part of the black power movement. Many of the poems in this collection channel her frustrations and observations about the civil rights movement. After a while, a lot of those poems started to sound the same to me. To me, where Giovanni shines is when she writes her imagism poems and her sweet love poems. Many of these poems have already been anthologized in t Woah! My first experience with an NG poem was "Knoxville, Tennessee," a lighthearted descriptive poem. I had no idea she was a part of the black power movement. Many of the poems in this collection channel her frustrations and observations about the civil rights movement. After a while, a lot of those poems started to sound the same to me. To me, where Giovanni shines is when she writes her imagism poems and her sweet love poems. Many of these poems have already been anthologized in textbooks for middle school and high school. My favorites: You Came, Too I'm Not Lonely Knoxville, Tennessee (imagism) For Teresa Housecleaning (which features a zinger of an ending) Kidnap Poetry (metapoetry) Winter Poem (cute and fun with good line breaks) The World Is Not a Pleasant Place to be (imagism) Poem (For Anna H and Alfreda D) (creative word choice) Communication (similes) Age Habits Choices (great ending) Woman (feminist) Make Up (repeated use of word; double meaning) A Poem of Friendship (sweet) Resignation I Wrote a Good Omelet (love poem) You Were Gone

  21. 5 out of 5

    Troy

    Nikki Giovanni is that aunt who knows things, who you love to visit because she gets you, and will tell you things that you remember, and understand years later in a poof of clarity. I've loved her poetry and prose for years, and I bought this while browsing the bookstore and no one had told me that she had a book out. Sure, it's missing some of her later work, particularly the Virginia Tech stuff, and the cutoff of 1998 is...weird, but this is a great compendium of the stuff she was writing to Nikki Giovanni is that aunt who knows things, who you love to visit because she gets you, and will tell you things that you remember, and understand years later in a poof of clarity. I've loved her poetry and prose for years, and I bought this while browsing the bookstore and no one had told me that she had a book out. Sure, it's missing some of her later work, particularly the Virginia Tech stuff, and the cutoff of 1998 is...weird, but this is a great compendium of the stuff she was writing to establish herself as a grand poet.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The specific poems I particularly liked: I'm Not Lonely For Tommy Alone Master Charge: Blues Legacies Winter Poem A Certain Peace [Untitled] (page 163. "There is a hunger") Poem (page 181 thinning hair) The Way I Feel Introspection Choices The Beep Beep Poem Space Make Up Winter Being and Nothingness That Day Charting the Night Winds The Poem on the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Flying Underg The specific poems I particularly liked: I'm Not Lonely For Tommy Alone Master Charge: Blues Legacies Winter Poem A Certain Peace [Untitled] (page 163. "There is a hunger") Poem (page 181 thinning hair) The Way I Feel Introspection Choices The Beep Beep Poem Space Make Up Winter Being and Nothingness That Day Charting the Night Winds The Poem on the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Flying Underground (not a fan of the ellipses poems except this one) Resignation Wild Flowers But Since You Finally Asked

  23. 5 out of 5

    Terrell

    Within these pages one gets acquainted with one of our most influential poets ever. The poems here span thirty years from the 1960’s Black Arts Movement, through the civil right movement to the present mother. Giovanni’s work is refreshing, partly because she doesn’t write about her black experience with the fierceness that is often associated with blacks whom participated in the Civil Rights Movement. It is refreshing to read works that touch on the subject of race, by a black who seemingly doe Within these pages one gets acquainted with one of our most influential poets ever. The poems here span thirty years from the 1960’s Black Arts Movement, through the civil right movement to the present mother. Giovanni’s work is refreshing, partly because she doesn’t write about her black experience with the fierceness that is often associated with blacks whom participated in the Civil Rights Movement. It is refreshing to read works that touch on the subject of race, by a black who seemingly doesn’t have any stored anger from that time in her life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hector

    It is a good book but contains some poetry even I wouldn't publish. This is the first of her books that have I read and probably the last. I feel she is a bit overrated and probably dated. Many of these people from academia get published simply because they teach at a major university. Some of our greatest writers, like Walt Whitman, didn't have much formal education. Whitman left school at the age of twelve. I believe that if you want to read great poetry, often you must look for those people w It is a good book but contains some poetry even I wouldn't publish. This is the first of her books that have I read and probably the last. I feel she is a bit overrated and probably dated. Many of these people from academia get published simply because they teach at a major university. Some of our greatest writers, like Walt Whitman, didn't have much formal education. Whitman left school at the age of twelve. I believe that if you want to read great poetry, often you must look for those people who have lived on the fringes of society.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamila Abdulrashid

    This collection of poetry is a historical timeline of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s. Its lyrical content speaks to the conscience of a culture deeply rooted in revolution. It tells the notable struggle of a nation divided by civil rights. “The source of my work has always been black Americans. I am absolutely fascinated by what we are, and how we have conducted our business more than three hundred years in America.” (Giovanni, 2007). This is a great book for teachers of humanities to use This collection of poetry is a historical timeline of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s. Its lyrical content speaks to the conscience of a culture deeply rooted in revolution. It tells the notable struggle of a nation divided by civil rights. “The source of my work has always been black Americans. I am absolutely fascinated by what we are, and how we have conducted our business more than three hundred years in America.” (Giovanni, 2007). This is a great book for teachers of humanities to use with students as it covers both English Language Arts and history. Highly recommend.

  26. 4 out of 5

    jill

    I don't like all of Nikki Giovanni's poetry, but there are certain pieces that are great. I got my copy signed at a reading Giovanni did at the library my mom works at. There was a woman in line behind me to meet Giovanni who found her favorite poem in the world in my copy of the collected poems to show me. So I ripped out that page and gave it to her to get signed. I recopied that poem into the back of my book, so I still have it; I wonder what that lady did with her copy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Essence Michelle

    This book may possibly be one of my new favorites! Not only because in my personal opinion, Nikki Giovanni is one of the greatest poets ever, but because her words are filled with the most anger and joy and rhythm that can go into words. Also, i always enjoy her awareness of race but never separation of races. It takes a lot to put your soul into a poem and after reading this collection of about three hundred, I fell as if i was not once deprived of anything she had to offer.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Drew Hoffman

    "The Collected Poetry, 1968-1998" is a fine representation of a life lived as a revolutionary. Giovanni's potent voice shows off its range here, from the anger and frustration of her early work to the more mellowly elegaic later poems-- the poet's personal evolution is acid-etched and beautiful, the song of a true rebel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    An amazing poet, this is my first book of poems by Nikki Giovanni. From 1968 to 1998 the poems are still bursting with freshness and vitality 15 years later from the last section of poems. I'm so very glad I picked up this book from the library and look forward very much to adding her poetry books to my library. Truly she has become a favourite poet of mine.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Nikki's poems and writings have been so inspiring to me as I was growing up. I read this book a long, long time ago but still I'm moved by the way she writes. Her work was as relevant then, as it is today. Good Read!

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