Monday, April 11, 2016

Nikki Giovanni

"Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery - it's the sincerest 
form of learning."— George Bernard Shaw

Welcome to Day 11 of FEET IN THE CREEK. 
Week 2 Poets:
April 8: Janet Wong
April 9: George Ella Lyon
April 10: Bobbi Katz

For each day I have chosen a favorite poem, a favorite poet, or a favorite friend. I will look at the work, decide what draws me to it, what makes it resonate for me, and then write my own poem about the creek with those techniques in mind. These are first drafts, so nothing will be especially polished, but they will be starting points for revision after the month is done. Feel free to follow along or join in.

Today's poet is Nikki Giovanni, poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. You may enjoy listening to Maria Papova read some of Giovanni's poems here.

Illustrations by Larry Johnson ©2016

from Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee
by Nikki Giovanni

I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
from daddy's garden
and okra
and greens
and cabbage
and lots of
and listen to
gospel music
at the church
and got to the mountains with
your grandmother
and go barefooted
and be warm
all the time
not only when you go to bed
and sleep

© Nikki Giovanni, 1994. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.

My Intention: Write a list poem about a season on the creek.


I like spring best
when bare limbs
bud chartreuse
against olive
and ferns
to fan
creek banks
and broken
shells birth
chirping jays
and tadpoles
sprout legs
and mother
foxes tend
their babes
and I peel
off my socks
and dip
my feet
in the creek
and feel
like I am
brand new

© Doraine Bennett, 2016. All rights reserved.

Week 1 poets:
April 1: Ralph Fletcher
April 2: Douglas Florian
April 3: Progressive poem. Catch up here.
April 4: Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
April 5: Walt Whitman
April 6: Irene Latham
April 7: Carmen Bernos de Gasztold

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