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A collection of eighty all new poems, Acolytes is distinctly Nikki Giovanni, but different. Not softened, but more inspired by love, celebration, memories and even nostalgia. She aims her intimate and sparing words at family and friends, the deaths of heroes and friends, favorite meals and candy, nature, libraries, and theatre. But in between, the deep and edgy conscience that has defined her for decades shines through when she writes about Rosa Parks, hurricane Katrina, and Emmett Till's disappearance, leaving ...
A collection of eighty all new poems, Acolytes is distinctly Nikki Giovanni, but different. Not softened, but more inspired by love, celebration, memories and even nostalgia. She aims her intimate and sparing words at family and friends, the deaths of heroes and friends, favorite meals and candy, nature, libraries, and theatre. But in between, the deep and edgy conscience that has defined her for decades shines through when she writes about Rosa Parks, hurricane Katrina, and Emmett Till's disappearance, leaving no doubt that Nikki has not traded one approach for another, but simply made room for both.
How You Gonna Save 'Em? 1st Stanza
It's hard to save 'em
If they won't learn how to pray
Give 'em the blues
And make 'em weep all day
An invocation for the underground railroad
We are gathered to fulfill a covenant . . . a vow made in cadence to the tramping feet carrying the weary . . . scarred . . . branded bodies harvested for the unspeakably vicious trade in slave labor
We are gathered because a sacred vow was made as these people . . . chained head to toe head to toe head to toe . . . with no room to turn . . . no privacy of body or soul . . . bereft of the comfort their Gods and languages could bring . . . allowed a curiosity . . . a wonder . . . a sense of newness . . . to give them the courage . . . to survive . . . to thrive . . . to find a new world
We are gathered in awe of the people who stood on the auction block . . . bent under the master or the lash . . . clearing land they could not claim . . . growing crops they could not share . . . birthing children they could only love in mem-ory . . . being shamed by powerlessness
We recognize it was never their shame
We gather in celebration of those who utilized the Underground Railroad . . . those who rode it and those who helped others get onboard
We flow bitter tears for those whose freedom was found at the end of a rope
We come to this moment having achieved neither restoration nor reparation but we come . . . we gather together with friends of freedom to commemorate the courageous men and women who have sacrificed their all for the uplifting of humankind . . . wefindin this moment the same moon reflecting the same brilliant sun . . . the same stars dancing among the same night skies
We gather because three hundred and eighty- four years ago the "Cargo" that stepped off a Dutch Man-of-War . . . being exchanged for food and water . . . recognizing this was not a good situation which would get better anytime soon . . . still decided to live . . . and fight their battle with a glorious song . . . raised to a new God . . . in a strange land
We gather because it is the right thing to do . . . and it is to that . . . that we say . . . AmenAcolytes. Copyright ? by Nikki Giovanni. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted January 5, 2012
I love Ms. Giovanni's work! She is a wonderful speaker and has a stunning way with words. However, this particular edition on the nook appears to be missing pages/parts of poems. That is the reason I gave THIS EDITION 1 star.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2011
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Posted January 24, 2012
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