THE WOMEN AND THE MEN by Nikki Giovanni


Email this review


An avowed admirer of Ayn Rand, Nikki Giovanni used to be one of the angriest stars in the militant-black cultural galaxy--but she's revised her gospel somewhat for this volume of poems. It seems she ""awoke and dug that if I dreamed natural/dreams of being a natural/woman doing what a woman/does when she's natural/I would have a revolution."" It seems that ""you held me/one evening and now I know/the ultimate luxury/of your love."" And who needs to kill whitey when making love is being ""fulfilled/like a big fat cow"". Why speak out when being silent with your man is ""almost as sexual as moving/your bowels""? (Well, there's just no accounting for taste, is there?) These ""natural"" expressions are redeemed to some degree by several nice poems written in tribute to black vocalists--notably ""Poem for Aretha"" where the voice and personality of Aretha Franklin thankfully obliterate Giovanni's super self-consciousness. Tucked in back of sixteen poems for women and fifteen for her lover (""The Men""), there's a handful of poems about places like Africa, Swaziland, Harlem and Alabama, and apparently the thrill really is gone, since these are pretty tired too.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1975
Publisher: Morrow