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Love Poems

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,311 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Nikki Giovanni has earned the reputation as one of America's most celebrated and contoversial writers.Now, she presents a stunning collection of love poems that includes more than twenty new works.

From the revolutionary "Seduction" to the tender new poem, "Just a Simple Declaration of Love," from the whimsical "I Wr
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 14th 1997 by William Morrow (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,364)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 23, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, southern, read2014
I went on a Nikki Giovanni poetry reading binge because she will be at the SC Book Festival in May 2014.

This little anthology of love poems is a selection of some of her earlier poems about relationships, unrequited love, longterm love, and loss. It is a partner book to the volume published in 2009, Bicycles. I shamelessly enjoyed these, because sometimes you just need a good love poem.

My favorites include:
A Poem of Friendship
You Are There
i shall save my poems
for the winter of my dreams...

Dec 24, 2012 Monique rated it really liked it
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I didn't want it to end.
Aug 23, 2011 Sacheen rated it really liked it
"I wrote a good omelet...and ate a hot poem...after loving you"
Enough said!
Winter Sophia Rose
Dec 12, 2015 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Bold, Erotic, Sexy & Deep! An Excellent Read! I Loved It!
Bonnie Chen
I really enjoyed reading this book because Nikki Giovanni is one of my all time favorite poets. I have prior knowledge, as I have read a couple of her poems before, such as Woman. I loved her use of literary elements-tone, mood, personification, simile, metaphors, etc. Frankly, however, her poems were quite hard to comprehend and complex in this book, but all poems share a similar theme: Love. There is love between friends, family members, pets, etc. I can relate to the theme because I have been ...more
Jan 17, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: poets-and-poetry
Wonderful little book of love poems from a very thoughtful poet. I resonated with many of the poems even though I am a middle class white male and the poet is an older black woman, which might speak to the universality of poetry and love. Some of the poems are very light hearted, and some are serious, but you can really hear Ms. Giovanni's voice coming through them all. The book is small and easy to read in a sitting, or two. I read some of them out loud to my wife, which I recommend. All in all ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, poetry, anthology
Why didn't anyone tell me how fabulous Nikki Giovanni's poetry is? It's just amazing. I love this book in particular because she writes about love in ALL its forms-- romantic and sexual love, certainly, but also friendship love, love of country, love of people, love of place and time and food and ancestors. It's basically perfect and I love it and I need to read everything she's ever written now, thanks.
Apr 09, 2011 Gary rated it liked it
Sometimes Nikki Giovanni is profound and sometimes she is just having fun with words, but she is never insignificant or trite. I've seen her twice and must admit that her presence adds a spirit and life to her poetry that occasionally gets lost on the page. But that's because she usually tells a story about the poem or the period of her life when she wrote it.
Jul 06, 2014 Marva rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite collections of poetry. I reread Love Poems when I need a reminder that love has many definitions.
J.J. Murray
Apr 08, 2010 J.J. Murray rated it it was amazing
Like no love poems you've ever read before.
Annabelle Dorion
Mar 28, 2013 Annabelle Dorion rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Nikki Giovanni's "Love Poems". I was simply in the mood to read poetry, particularly love poems, and when I did a random search on Barnes and Noble, this was one of the selections. I wasn't sure if I could relate to her topics since some of her poems were more related to black women and the culture of the South. But I was pleasantly surprised when I could relate to not just one but several of her poems. I enjoyed how Giovanni can be at times serious ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it
I've read some separate poems by Giovanni, but this is my first trial at reading a book of only her poetry. It was and was not what I expected. It's filled with love poems (obviously) which are at times more or less closely like traditional "love poems" and is divided into three sections. Also, some poems are quite short while others extend for a few pages.

I did expect a lyrical quality; I got that, as well as repetition, chorus, and alliteration. This quality can be found throughout this collec
Feb 17, 2013 Shirlena rated it it was amazing
Nikki Giovanni is my mentor for writing poetry but she doesn't know it. If I read one of her poems I go to writing instantly, like I'm being fed through my veins. She infuses me and in turn brings thoughts out of me that have been sitting dormant, waiting for someone to understand. Other than Sonja Sanchez, I think she muses me more. Here is some of the writing she nurtures within me:

jump life

sick of grazing
sumptious familiar green
understand the Israelites
grew ill of manna
what ungrateful
Damon Brandt
Feb 12, 2016 Damon Brandt rated it it was amazing
As with most poetry books, some of the poems strike deep while others on skim the surface of my soul.
I love you because the Earth turns round the sun
because the North wind blows north
sometimes because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you despite the charms of gravity
keeps me from falling off this Earth into another dimension
I love you because it is the natural order of things
Nov 14, 2007 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007-08
I became interested in Nikki Giovanni and poetry in general after our poetry unit. So when I came across Love Poems I decided to give it a try. Since we had just learned all about literary devices, techniques, etc. I couldn't help but analyze a little bit. I noticed that Nikki Giovanni's poems are very rhythmic and often sound likes songs. I also liked the informal voice she often uses. It made poetry more accessible to me and less like a bunch of words that had to be "explicated" in order to b ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Fats rated it really liked it
"I love you//because I don't want it//any other way..."

Dedicated to Tupac Shakur, Love Poems talks about love in all its forms. My favorites happen to be those that have less to do with romance and more to do with friends and family. Nikki Giovanni offers fresh perspectives on love and juxtaposes images that one would least likely associate with love.
Mrs Briley
Apr 20, 2015 Mrs Briley rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this collection of poems and will return to some of them again and again. Each poem expresses love in it's many forms--playfulness, passionate, platonic...and the unclassifiable. Ms. Giovanni's voice is so real, and a joy to read.
Jan 18, 2016 DNC DNC rated it it was amazing
I have read this book so many times but I just needed the words to grace my eyes one more time. Her verses are intense is some cases but very smooth and relaxed in others. Her imagery is immaculate. Love, love, love it!
Nov 03, 2014 Nakia rated it really liked it
A lot of goodness in here that I will make sure to revisit. My favorite poem: "The Only True Lovers Are Chefs or Happy Birthday, Edna Lewis", a poem Giovanni wrote for her grandmother. I'm sure you know why it's my favorite.
Feb 18, 2016 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
This woman. My god, this woman. I don't like every one of her poems, but the ones I like, I love. LOVE. Like she wrote them directly through me.
Aug 19, 2014 Sonya rated it it was amazing
I had this book as well, someone must have nabbed it from me. This website is restoring my memory of books I've had. Good enough to buy again!
Oct 02, 2013 Keimoria rated it really liked it
"Beautiful Black Men" is the name of a poem writtin in this book.Reading this poem not only astound me but left me feeling really joyous,simply because out of all the books i have came across not to many speak highly of the avrage african american men,or even express the love they have for them.And i could really feel the importance African American men have in her life.that poem stud out the most.
The book is not just about African American men and the love she had for them,the book also expres
May 06, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
And this book is where I fell in love with Nikki Giovanni. I forget whether Ginny discovered this one and recommended it to me or if I did and recommended it to her, but it was one of those books we both fell in love with at the same time, back in college. One of those books that has paid out so many times over in inspiration and love and joy and all the wonderful things that there are about poetry. Just a week or so ago I chose one of these poems to write inside a card for a bridal shower -- ev ...more
Apr 09, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it
Sweet, sexy, thoughtful love poems, that focus on love of all types.
Feb 16, 2016 Justine rated it really liked it
Quick read, but with a few really nice poems.
Aug 31, 2014 Camille rated it really liked it
ballads to the self
Feb 17, 2012 Beth rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. It's the first book I've read by Giovanni. I loved her playful use of language, as in "And I Have You." Sometimes her poems delve deeper into language that is more traditionally poetic, as in "Just a Simple Declaration of Love." She has a tribute poem to 2Pac that is deeply felt, but I don't think he merits a comparison to Malcolm X. When I read this book, I always find surprises, but at the same time, sometimes her poems are so conversational that they don't resonat ...more
Apr 09, 2016 Amanda rated it it was amazing
So yum!
Nichelle Brunner
Jan 10, 2014 Nichelle Brunner rated it it was amazing
Nikki Giovanni uses beautiful language to describe one of the most basic and confusing human emotions--love. The book can be read in one sitting and I found myself bookmarking particular poems to either copy down or just read over.
Feb 26, 2016 Arielle rated it liked it
2016 Reading Challenge - A book of poetry

This was my second time reading this collection of poetry. The first time I read it was in 1997, so nearly 20 years ago. I loved this book in college, I re-read certain poems many times, and even used one in my wedding. I still love certain poems and phrases which resonate with the personal/political/social so well. Some of the poems are stronger than others, but I suppose that is common in poetry books.
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Poetry collection review 1 10 Jun 06, 2014 09:47AM  
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Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni is a Grammy-nominated American poet, activist and author. She has written numerous volumes of poetry and has been honored with loads of awards, including 20 honorary degrees from national colleges and universities. Her poems are undeniably authentic distillations of black life in America. She was editor of Fisk University's literary magazine. She lives in Blacksbu ...more
More about Nikki Giovanni...

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“If were a shower
I could saturate your hair
Work my way over your lips
Across your shoulders
Around your waist
Through your knees
To the tips of your toes
And back again
Warm wet salty
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