Guest poem submitted by Aseem:
(Poem #1540) I'm not Lonely
i'm not lonely sleeping all alone you think i'm scared but i'm a big girl i don't cry or anything i have a great big bed to roll around in and lots of space and i don't dream bad dreams like i used to have that you were leaving me anymore now that you're gone i don't dream and no matter what you think i'm not lonely sleeping all alone
Nikki Giovanni is (IMHO) one of the most under-represented poets on Minstrels - you have just one poem by her! So figured I would put in one of my favourites to even things up a little. Actually started thinking about her after reading National Brotherhood Week, reading her more political poems (see the Funeral of Martin Luther King Jr, for example) but finally settled on this one to send in. What I love about this poem is the aching simplicity of it - the almost tearful courage of lines like "i'm a big girl / i don't cry or anthing" and the bitter irony of getting over your bad dreams by having them come true (also the brilliant double edge to "now that you're gone / i don't dream"). The real beauty here is that Giovanni does not protest too much - there's a part of you that's tempted to believe her and there's a part of you that knows it isn't true and you kind of get the sense that she doesn't believe herself either. But would like to. Aseem.