It’s always a good day when poet, activist, and professor Nikki Giovanni showers us with the power and wisdom of her words.
I love her latest book, Make Me Rain: Poems and Prose (William Morrow, 2020), which is by turns celebratory, conversational, tender, soul nourishing, and ablaze with fierce conviction. Her heart and refreshing honesty are on display whether the subject is deeply personal or politically controversial. She begins with this lyrical restorative gem:
MAKE ME RAIN make me rain turn me into a snowflake let me rest on your tongue make me a piece of ice so I can cool you let me be the cloud that embraces you or the quilt that gets you dry snuggle close listen to me sing on the windowsill make me rain on you
What a beautiful way to invite us into this collection! As a poet and person, she is wholeheartedly in service of language and its critical role in the healing and nurturing of humanity. Water, which sustains every living thing, is a recurring theme in the book.
There are other joyous and life affirming poems about family, friends, mentors, and dreams to soothe the spirit. She often uses the quilt metaphor not only as a symbol of comfort and safety, but as a way of stitching together precious memories and illuminating the uncommon strength that comes from unifying diverse elements.
(From Nikki's poem, “Quilts”): Some folk think a quilt is leftover clothes but we know it is made up of loved pieces we have saved then sewn together . . . America is a quilt made up of different folk we came together to build something warm and goodContinue reading