Friday, November 03, 2006

Ten Years Old

by Nikki Giovanni

i paid my 30 cents and rode by the bus
window all the way down

i felt a little funny with no hair
on my head
but my knees were shiny 'cause
aunty mai belle cleaned me up
and i got off on time and walked
past the lions and the guard straight
up to the desk and said
"dr. doo little steroscope please"
and this really old woman said
"Do You Have A Library Card?"
and i said
"i live here up the street"
and she said
"Do You Have A LIBRARY Card?"
and i said
"this is the only place i can use
the steroscope for
dr. doo little miss washington
brought us here this spring
to see it."
and another lady said
and i said
"no ma'am i want to see dr. dooolittle"
and she said "same thang son same thang"


I have been going through my bookshelves looking for more to add to my Library Thing Catalog, and since we have books stashed in every room of the house I keep finding things I had forgotten about. I found this poem yesterday in a book called My Black Me; a beginning book of black poetry edited by Arnold Adoff. I don't remember when or where I got it but it looks new so maybe someone gave it to us in the last few years. It is marvelous! Many of my favorite poets are here: Lucille Clifton, Langston Hughes, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) and many others. I want to quote some of the forward written by Arnold Adoff in 1994:

This book of Black is for you. Black poems for Black sisters and brothers. Black poems for All sisters and brothers. Of every race. Every open face. Poems that help you know your inside faces. Your human pieces put together strong and fine. Human poems...

And this is a beginning book of Black. There have been hundreds of Black men and women, slave and free, who have been poets. Are poets today. Are becoming poets for tomorrow. Their poems are shouts and songs. Cries and laughs. Facts and fantasy. Pictures and words. Good strong poems of love and hate and all the rest that's in between.

Let all these poems help you feel strong inside. Let all these poems push you out of your chair to stand tall. Then sit back down again and think about what you are right now. About what you can become tomorrow.

This book of Black is for you. Young brothers and sisters of every race. In every big city and small town place. All power to you. Use these poems for power and love. Like cornbread and kisses. Words and music will make you strong. Stay strong for yourself. Strong for the people. Read on.
Amen. Read ON.

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1 comment:

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