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A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  620 ratings  ·  133 reviews
One of America’s most celebrated poets looks inward in this powerful collection, a rumination on her life and the people who have shaped her.

The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a firebrand, a radical, a healer, and a sage; a wise and courageous voice who has spoken out on the sensitive issues,
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Hardcover, 111 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by William Morrow
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Bree Hill
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nikki Giovanni is a master at making ordinary life..making breakfast, walking down the street seem so beautiful. This collection of poetry was such an insightful look into her life. My heart broke learning of her parents and their relationship..but I was filled with so much joy and gratitude for her grandparents. Reading this as a lover of Her, I just want to reach out and thank all of the people in her life she loves lol and thank them for helping mold her into the woman she is who puts this ...more
Jean
I read poetry, or I should say I prefer to listen to poetry, particularly if read by the author. But I rarely write a review as I am unsure how to go about it. February is Black History Month. In honor of this I chose to read this book of poems by Giovanni.

This book covers a variety of love poems: love of a women for a man, a parent for a child, a child for a parent, for grandparents, food, words and learning. Some of the poems also cover the Civil Rights Era. The first part of the book is poems
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Alicia (PrettyBrownEyeReader)
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2017
Another fabulous collection of poems and short essays. She pays homage to many people including Maya Angelou and Afeni Shakur.
chantel nouseforaname
I loved all the pieces dedicated to legendary, literary, contributors to black excellence from Claudia Whitworth and Rita Dove to Maya Angelou. Giovanni is a legendary contributor to black excellence herself and I love to see all the love and praises passed around!

But just as much love and praise that she shines on the contributions of great writers; there's also a pain expressed regarding topics of neglect, domestic abuse and intimate partner violence at a few spots in this work that stood out
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Jean
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another one that I read through very quickly just to get a feel for the rhythm of the writing even though I knew it would be a phenomenal read. Now I'm just reveling in the life of Giovanni. Of course, I'll purchase my own copy, that's a must.
Katya
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Nikki Giovanni, and there were some poems that really resonated with me, but the collection on the whole fell a little flat in my heart. That said, the beautiful thing about poetry (and a smattering of prose, in this case) is that I may read it again in the future, under different circumstances, and with brand new eyes, and it might speak to me then. I would certainly give it another go down the line. 3.5 stars, rounded up for the 10 or so works that I found memorable.

AfroLit
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh how beautiful the section dedicated to Maya. I smiled and touched my hand to my heart with love and watched the scene of these wonderful sister friends cook, eat, drink laugh and tell wonderful stories. Oh to have been a fly on that lucky wall. I truly treasure her simplistic straight no chaser poems to her short heart felt essays. Enjoyed it. On to the next Nikki G book, Acolytes.
Ka’leneReads
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a GreatRead! I love the way she pays Homage to Others, So cool!
cierra carter
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this whole time i thought i hated poetry when the reality of the situation was i’d never read nikki giovanni
Shamekia
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Savory morsels of poetry from one of my favorites.
Chris Roberts
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Reach starry desolation heights,
if writing is a religion and you are an acolyte,
lay down a devotion, a reverie - a breath.

To pick-up this collection, weep that it is dust.

Chris Roberts, God Today
LeeTravelGoddess
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops
BUY THIS BOOK AND ENJOY IT OVER A GLASS OF WINE!!!

I loved that she spoke on Tupac. I loved that she paused, laughed and even had moments of reverence in this book of poetry. I enjoyed it as I have enjoyed all of the books that Auntie Nikki has written.
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Rogene Carter
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best collection that I have read by Giovanni to date.
Karen
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A stew, a hash, a scramble of praise-poems, memories, moments of looking forward and back. Very straight-forward, and warm, Giovanni faces her own age in a practical, hopeful way. She's inspiring.
Abbi
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
"We recognized you cannot be anti-abortion while supporting Capital Punishment; By what right must I birth him that you put him in the electric chair; Or in prison for life for a crime he did not commit"

I borrowed this from my local library on a whim; and I'm so glad that I did. I don't read much poetry anymore let alone poetry that doesn't rhyme (don't judge me); but Nikki Giovanni's collection, A Good Cry, confirmed that I need to include books of poetry in my reading selections going forward.
Harper Miller
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry is a little over 100 pages and a quick read, but I didn’t want it to be a quick read. I took my time because I wanted to savor this gem. Nikki Giovanni has a brilliant relationship with words. She captures nostalgia, heartache, and friendship so wonderfully. Stand out pieces for me: Space: Our Frontier, Nikki Giovanni: A Look at the Development of this Small Business, The Past ... The Present ... The Future, Black Lives Matter (Not A Hashtag) and so many more.

I adored this
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Nancy Hirstein Smith
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book of poetry I’ve read cover to cover. It was an intimate story of how trauma in the poet’s life shut down the part of her that could cry, a status she be cried. She learned to weep - with grief - after the death of her great friend, Maya Angelou.

In this, except for the nature of the trauma, we are alike.

This collection is also humbling in how few people, historical figures she called out I recognized without looking them up.

A great first choice - poetic, relatable,
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Paula
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not what I had expected from the description. I marked it as 4 stars because there are some beautifully moving and poignant poems within. However, from expectation of the description to reality, I would give it a 2-3 star rating. This short book is filled with poems and some very short stories.
Tiffany
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I like this one a lot better than Chasing Utopia. I love the poem about A look at the development of this small business. Very clever.
Alyssa
A quick read and a nice way to be introduced to the author’s work / writing style. Definitely would like to read more!
Anne
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I love Nikki Giovanni, and this small collection of her work is wonderful.
Haizle The Princess
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nikki Giovanni never disappoints, but this work spoke directly to my soul! Her poems "The Fly on the Wall" and "Afeni" were my favorites of this collection. I'm so glad I bought this book. I anticipate coming back to it many, many times.
Layne
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good things come in small packages. This is so true of this book. Clocking in at just 109 pgs. of poems, remembrances, tributes and short essays this collections cover so much. And does it beautifully. If you were to ask me if I liked poetry my answer would be no, or would have been. But after reading this collection I have to reconsider.
Andrew
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher at the ALA Annual Conference in 2017. This is an honest review.*

Let me begin by saying I love Nikki Giovanni. I have gone to see her speak twice and every time I read her work or listen to her speak, I am always just so engrossed in whatever it is she has to say. I think she is brilliant.

This collection of poems and essays is no different in that sense. However, it is interesting to see how her poetry has changed over time. Her oldest poems were
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Jessica
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
It pains me greatly to grant only 3 stars to Giovanni but this collection just didn't move me the way so much of her work has.

The poetry is peppered with short prose essays that I don't get and don't care for. I've read a few of them a couple of times and I can't get them to make sense, nor do I feel they are evocative in the way language can be even when we may not completely understand the meaning.

There are more than several poems that are nice, but nothing that hit me over the head like her
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Jan Priddy
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only after reading her better work
There are a few highs, where she deliberately uses her caps in the way this reader admires, instead of allowing the software to choose; where the poem is the main event, instead of an introduction waiting for applause for what comes next; where she is writing about something more interesting than a volleyball game, which is only a volleyball game; where the music comes up loud and strong and beautiful for a few lines. Because Giovanni can do that.

The prose pieces scattered are personal and lack
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Troy
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've loved Prof Giovanni's work for quite a while, and while this tome brings the personal and evocative that I love, there's...something missing.

Perhaps I was used to more general poems with themes I've loved to read about herm, but I couldn't pull those themes out of these personal poems, written to people or institutions I have no connection to and none of that shared experience or vision. Her words still flow, her language still accessible and descriptive...but I am not Virginia Tech or the
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Shannon Whitehead
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always admired Nikki Giovanni and was happy to finally hold her latest poetry collection in my hands. It's simple and beautiful and includes an intimate ode to her friend, Maya Angelou. Her magic is in illuminating day-to-day moments and writing stunning tributes to her dearest loved ones. My favorites were Baby West, Surveillance, and Afeni.

Let's connect: Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
Angie
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted the whole body of work to stand on its own instead I got a few memorable poems marking the book as an okay/good. I enjoy other works by Ms. Giovanni very much so in retrospect my expectation level was base on her other works.

Favorite:
The Past...The Present...The Future
A Look At the Development of This Small Business
Black Lives Matter
Surveillance
Big Maybelle
The Tassel's Worth the Hassle
The Fly on the Wall
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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 ...more