Don’t call us, we’ll call you

September 23, 2010

Lindsay recommends: “When I Die” by Nikki Giovanni

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 10:00 pm

Ever since I shared one of Nikki‘s poems with you a while back, I planned to post another favorite.  I’ve shared this with enough people to know that it’s not for everyone.  But to me, it is funny and sweet and beautiful.  I’m only posting my favorite three stanzas, but you can find the whole poem here.

when i die

when i die i hope no one who ever hurt me cries
and if they cry i hope their eyes fall out
and a million maggots that had made up their brains
crawl from the empty holes and devour the flesh
that covered the evil that passed itself off as a
person that i probably tried
to love

but i do hope someone tells my son
his mother liked little old ladies with
their blue dresses and hats and gloves that sittin’
by the window to watch the dawn come up is valid that smiling at an
old man and petting a dog don’t detract from manhood
do somebody please
tell him i knew all along that what would be
is what will be but i wanted to be a new person
and my rebirth was stifled not by the master
but the slave

and if ever i touched a life i hope that life knows
that i know that touching was and still is and will always
be the true
revolution

What do you think?  Like?  Dislike?

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5 Comments »

  1. made me smile a little. i prefer more classic poetry myself. but that’s the thing with poetry, different things reach different people. did i ever tell you i used to be co-president of an underground poetry club at byu?

    Comment by Vickie Blanchard — September 24, 2010 @ 12:04 am

    • I never knew that! Tell me more…did you write poetry or read it or both?!

      Comment by llcall — September 24, 2010 @ 3:12 am

  2. I think I like it(after writing and rewriting that I wasn’t sure, and reading and rereading I decided I might actually like it). I also enjoyed this part from the original “don’t do what you do very well very well and enjoy it it
    scares white folk
    and makes black ones truly mad”
    🙂

    Comment by Jolene — September 24, 2010 @ 12:13 am

  3. I love the first stanza you posted!! It makes me think of hypocracy and the pain we feel from trying to love people who won’t let us into their lives.

    when i die i hope no one who ever hurt me cries
    and if they cry i hope their eyes fall out
    and a million maggots that had made up their brains
    crawl from the empty holes and devour the flesh
    that covered the evil that passed itself off as a
    person that i probably tried
    to love

    Comment by Audrey — September 24, 2010 @ 1:32 am

  4. […] what’s the point of art? Here, I defer to the words of Nikki Giovanni, who said it far better than I ever […]

    Pingback by Indispensably Useless // Louisa Heinrich — November 5, 2013 @ 3:13 pm


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