Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Founder's Day: Nikky Finney

A young poet hears that Nikki Giovanni is coming to lecture. The young poet has the courage to give her poems to her heroine(who happens to be an icon). The icon reads the young poet's work, sends feed back, and tells her that "under all that red is something beautiful  trying to happen." Nikki Giovanni blesses Nikky Finney (even their names sound like lines in a stanza) and the two become intertwined in uncommon art. There are many similarities.They both are alumnae of HBCUs. They are feminists, activists and truth tellers, and they both have a poetic command that  as Lauryn Hill rapped, reigns top percentile. Since I previously reviewed Head Off & Split, I  have discovered  that Nikky Finney was a soror. So, now I'm really, really impressed. She is the author of five poetry books: On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, Heartwood, The World is Round, and the National Book Award Winning-Head Off &Split. Her poetry in Occupied poetry. Finney's words and observations take you to places that you may or may not be prepared to go. You will be intermingled with the oppressed.  I rode with Rosa Parks and experienced Katrina with the poet. If you  love the art and craft of poetry, you will wonder how did she do that? See for yourself.


            The woman with the cheerleader legs
has been left for dead. She hot paces a roof,
four days, three nights, her leaping fingers, 
helium arms rise and fall, pulling at the week-
old baby in the bassinet, pointing to the eighty-
two-year-old grandmother, fanning & raspy
in the New Orleans Saints folding chair.

  Buy the book                         

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