Dreams

By Nikki Giovanni b. 1943 Nikki Giovanni
in my younger years
before i learned
black people aren’t
suppose to dream
i wanted to be
a raelet
and say “dr o wn d in my youn tears”
or “tal kin bout tal kin bout”
or marjorie hendricks and grind   
all up against the mic
and scream
“baaaaaby nightandday   
baaaaaby nightandday”
then as i grew and matured
i became more sensible   
and decided i would   
settle down
and just become
a sweet inspiration

Nikki Giovanni, “Dreams” from Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment. Copyright © 1968, 1970 by Nikki Giovanni. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni (2003)

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Poet Nikki Giovanni b. 1943

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Music, Living, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Youth, Arts & Sciences, Coming of Age

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Nikki  Giovanni

Biography

Nikki Giovanni is one of the best-known African-American poets who reached prominence during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Her unique and insightful poetry testifies to her own evolving awareness and experiences: from child to young woman, from naive college freshman to seasoned civil rights activist, from daughter to mother. Frequently anthologized, Giovanni’s poetry expresses strong racial pride and respect for family. Her . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Music, Living, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Youth, Arts & Sciences, Coming of Age

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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