My House by Nikki Giovanni

My House : Poems by Nikki Giovanni

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New York : William Morrow & Co., 1972. Second printing. Hardcover. 69 pages ; 22 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.


by Nikki Giovanni

i mean it's my house
and i want to fry pork chops
and bake sweet potatoes
and call them yams
cause i run the kitchen
and i can stand the heat

Well Phil,

Here is our second literary baby and in many ways I think that it is different from the other. After all, I'm a new me. I will never back off from my other poems, but the more you see the more you understand. I'm not at all sure all the terms I embraced before are now so easy to embrace. For some reason people find it easier to hate than to love, easier to kill than to help. Easier to control and thwart than to allow and nourish. But it's not about that, it's about touching (did you dig "Butterflies"?) and it's about love. So here I am, writing a book of love poems. Thomas Lask picked that up in The New York Times in his review of my poetry session at Lincoln Center. He said: "Those who recall the militancy and the strident note of protest in her book, Black Feeling, Black Talk/Black Judgement, especially such poems as 'Of Liberation,' 'The True Import of Present Dialogue' ('Nigger/Can you kill'), would have noticed a sharp modulation in tone.

Last night, her poems seemed more conciliatory, more understanding, militant but in a muted way.11 Ain't that a bitch, I'm now a "muted militant." But muted or not, I remember, remember and appreciate the legacies given to me by my grandmother, my mother, in fact, by all of the people I invite into My House, to the rooms inside and to the rooms outside. "One ounce of truth benefits/ like ripples on a pond."

Now as for the material you want— "Please write a biographical resume including: place and date of birth, education, family, children, awards, etc."-I'm not up to all of that. I was born in Tennessee (don't you read the books you edit?); raised in Ohio (you couldn't have read "A Poem for Carol") , have one son, Tommy (no, I'm not married) ; received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Wilberforce University, a plaque from the Cook County Jail, a life membership and scroll from The National Council of Negro Women, and an award from Mademoiselle magazine. But most importantly, I can fly/ like a bird in the sky.


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