Friday, January 31, 2014

Bicycles by Nikki Giovanni

I have been inundated with requests for books of love poems.  I am happy to have this slim, enigmatic volume on hand to offer students after they have moved through the more accessible poetry of lyricists such as Alicia Keyes and Tupac Shakur.  Bicycles gets at love and longing from many different angles and in many different ways.  Friendship, family, romantic love, and hero-worship are all here, in one to two page poems in forms ranging from free verse to simple four line stanzas to paragraphs of prose poetry.  There is something for everyone inside, but it may take patience and a bit of guidance to find, especially for less sophisticated readers.  “A Substitute for You,” “Friends and Lovers,” and “Trash Pans” have all proven popular.--Regan Schwartz

Giovanni, Nikki. Bicycles. New York: Harper Perennial, 2009. Print.

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