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Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems Hardcover – November 5, 2002
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Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Beginning with the Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea (We're Going To Mars), this poem is indeed one as I have never read in my life of literature. Nikki poetically finds similarities between the trip to Mars (that we yearn for) and the Middle Passage in the slave ship on it's way to a desitation unheard.
This poem reasons out the trip to Mars to be very important to us because of self denial, waiting for all our bad attributes to become lost somewhere else, so we journey off to leave our old selves back to try and find a new self.
Then all at once, we get to Mars and begin to kill the "Martians and the Martian Sympathizers". . ."As if the Fugitive Slave Law wasn't bad enough then". Sound familiar?
All of a sudden, the way that we are packed in the space ship is the same way the enslaved were whipped and chained in the slave ship. They survived though their survival own skills.
Thus, Nikki concludes with a smiling martian community watching us land on their terf while they simply continue to quilt a black-eyed pea.
This is remarkable. Focusing on Emmett Till, Susan Smith, Rosa Parks, and even President Bush and his response to the terrorists attacks and how it should have been! I must say. . . she makes much sense in her poetic vibe.
Her magnificent poems circle around love for animals and nature and any forms of life. . .especially human. Not to be self centered and consumed with everything that we forget everything. Learn to care and be compassionate.Read more ›
I love Ms. Giovanni's writing and this book is one of my favorites. She is so truthful about everything that she has written here. It is like she put on paper what everyone has been thinking.
In "Twenty Reasons to Love Richards Williams, Giovanni pays tribute to Venus and Serena Williams' father; "He makes white folks crazy (PS and the black bourgeoisie, too)". "Don't Think" is but six powerful lines and "Blackberry Cobbler", now one of my favorite poems, is reminiscent of childhood and grandmothers. Tributes are paid to James Baldwin, Rosa Parks, and there is another Aretha poem. In these tributes, a ground work of black history is laid before she bestows the honoree with ultimate adulation.
As in Love Poems, her previous collection, Giovanni gives you words of wisdom, love, and conscientious discourse. This is a book that you will find yourself picking up again and again and wanting to share with others. This is poetry- Nikki style.
that I imagine await on us on Mars, sitting around quilting
the black - eyed pea." -- Nikki Giovanni
In light of the quote above, I begin the arduous task of
reviewing the works of a cultural icon who has remained
unwaverved in her political beliefs and true to living
life her way. She has mastered the art of blending grief,
sarcasm and sometimes outrage with the right touch of
Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, is a collection of 50 poems,
sketches and meditations that touches on a gamut of events
as Ms. Giovanni in her narrative voice gives the world a
historical overview and also focuses on the future. This
collection which cuts to the core and seems unapologetic
is very intimate. Each piece in the collection has the
ability to pull the reader into a vortex of introspection.
I urge everyone to read them slowly and absorb the author's
In 'We're Going to Mars' and 'Symphony of the Sphinx', she
exposes sketches of Black history and the intense struggle
people of color have endured just to live the American dream.
In 'Here's to Gwen', Ms. Giovanni depicts women as forces
to be reckoned with in literary history with her special
dedication to the premier poet, Gwendolyn Brooks. In 'Twenty
Reasons to Love Richard Williams', she pays homage to a
tennis father who had the stick-to-itiveness to propel his
daughters to tennis stardom, and who made the world see
through his eyes how beautiful Black is. There is nothing
quite like her terse, biting '9-11-01'('He blew it'), as
Ms. Giovanni shares her views on the politics of the country,
and on the office of the Commander and Chief.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Celie said it best after she found her letters that were hidden by Mister: "There's so many of them! What us gonna do?" Well, that's what I think of Nikki's work. Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by I just wanna say...
Writer Carolyn Heilbrun recommended Nikki Giovanni to me and others at the Chicago Humanities Festival in 2002. I read Giovanni's poetry yesterday and was carried away. Read morePublished on June 12, 2003
In order to read this book properly, you'll have to heat a cup of tea and curl up under a warm blanket in front of a crackling fireplace. Read morePublished on April 28, 2003 by FictionAddiction.NET
I enjoy you sharing your knowledge,wisdom and journeys.You are an inspiration to us all.Thank you.From one artist to another. Read morePublished on February 12, 2003 by Cassandra Dillon
This is one of her best. I had bought the book a week ago and finished it in about twenty minutes and I loved every page. Keep on writing them.Published on January 17, 2003 by Amazon Customer