Sunday, 25 August 2013

Woman, a poem by Nikki Giovanni

she wanted to be a blade
of grass amid the fields
but he wouldn't agree
to be the dandelion

she wanted to be a robin singing
through the leaves
but he refused to be
her tree

she spun herself into a web
and looking for a place to rest
turned to him
but he stood straight
declining to be her corner

she tried to be a book
but he wouldn't read

she turned herself into a bulb
but he wouldn't let her grow

she decided to become
a woman
and though he still refused
to be a man
she decided it was all

Nikki Giovanni


Kai said...

i love nikki giovanni....she is my other fave poet...thanks for sharing!

Rethabile said...

I'm getting to know Ms Giovanni.

Anonymous said...

Great poem, love the ending. :)

magiceye said...


david santos said...

what a beautiful poem you have!
thank you
have a good week

Stephen A. Bess said...

Beautiful woman! I attended a reading for her about 2 years ago. She signed my old copy of, Cotton Candy on Rain Day.

Lyrically speaking said...

This is a hot piece, I haven't read this one before so it's a breath of fresh air

Anonymous said...

I love this poem. It is a great example for all young girls to follow when they are becoming wome themselves. :)

Anonymous said...

I have to write an essay of this poem in my english class, but I don't really understand the poem . Can someone please explain?

Thanks so much

Rethabile said...

You need to read the poem many, many times, listening to it all the while, listening to the sound and to the meaning of the words.

You have to read it, put it away, and come back to it in a few day's time. It will talk to you, and what it says, is what you need to write for your paper.

The poem will say different things to different people, as most poems do. Trust your own ear, it's always the best ear.


Anonymous said...

I'm writing an essay about this poem and what is says about life. I mean I understand the poem, I just don't know how to translate that into words.

Anonymous said...

I'm not in favor of giving answers out, and I agree with the others on this page that poems say different things to different people, but here are some things to think about:

Who is She? Who is He? What is their relationship to each other?
Look at the last stanza. The decision "she" makes in the last stanza is the message of the poem. Figure out her decision, and you figure out the theme.

Hope this helps a little bit.

rkonarz said...

Love this one, Rethabile. I will come back to it, again, like you suggest. Thanks for posting the tags. I was able to find all of your postings of her work. I will definitely have to check out more of her work!

Anonymous said...

why doesn't she capitalize anything?

Anonymous said...

I love how at the end she says "and though he still refused/ to be a man/ she decided it was all/right" i laughed extremely hard

Rethabile said...

I'm glad you did (laughed, that is).

Lyrically speaking said...

she's always been a breath of fresh air

Anonymous said...

Giovanni's poem can connect with many women around the world. Women who are strong, powerful and mature. Many of these women grow up extremely fast, whereas some men do not, as stated in Giovanni's peom. In her poem, she seems to want a man who is willing to put forth just as much effort as she is. It also seems like Giovanni is ready for a serious relationship, when her significant other is not. Once she finally comes to realize this, it may be hard, but she decides to let go.

Drew said...

This is an interesting blog - I need to check it out in depth.

I mentioned Nikki G. in a recent post, and I also have poems by some of the same poets you have here at my own blog: