Saturday, July 11, 2009

My House

This is one of my favorite poems. It's by Nikki Giovanni who is my age and has a son almost the same age as mine that she also brought up by herself. Her roots are in Tennessee, and it was a highlight when she read some of her poetry at the Academy for Writing at UT during the summer of '89. In preparation for her appearance, Richard Marius read it to us during a plenary session and discussed what he thought it meant, but I think it's so much different for a man to understand what it means for women who grew up when we did to own our own houses and make them our homes. It's about that and so much more.

My House

i only want to
be there to kiss you
as you want to be kissed
when you need to be kissed
where i want to kiss you
cause it's my house
and i plan to live in it

i really need to hug you
when i want to hug you
as you like to hug me
does this sound like a silly poem

i mean it's my house
and i want to fry pork chops
and bake sweet potatoes
and call them yams
cause i run the kitchen
and i can stand the heat

i spent all winter in
carpet stores gathering
patches so i could make
a quilt
does this really sound
like a silly poem

i mean i want to keep you

and my windows might be dirty
but it's my house
and if i can't see out sometimes
they can't see in either

english isn't a good language
to express emotion through
mostly i imagine because people
try to speak english instead
of trying to speak through it
i don't know maybe it is
a silly poem

i'm saying it's my house
and i'll make fudge and call
it love and touch my lips
to the chocolate warmth
and smile at old men and call
it revolution cause what's real
is really real
and i still like men in tight
pants cause everybody has some
thing to give and more
important need something to take

and this is my house and you make me
so this is your poem

[26 feb 72]

From My House, Poems by Nikki Giovanni © 1972
Quill Books
William Morrow
New York


Howard said...

Very, very sweet and heartfelt.

Ms. Moon said...

I love that poem and I know exactly what she means and thank-you for posting it today to remind me of such goodness.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something I'd like to write!

Berry Blog said...

Sure don't have to be a woman to ID.I like that line about speaking English vs speaking through it.