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Love Poems

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,723 ratings  ·  126 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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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,723 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
"I wrote a good omelet...and ate a hot poem...after loving you"
Enough said!
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I didn't want it to end.
Women's National Book Association of New Orleans
The Women's National Book Association sent this book to the White House today (March 25) in honor of Women's History Month:

From the Women's National Book Association's press release:

Love Poems addresses love in all its forms, romantic to familial. The works in this small volume showcase Giovanni’s eminently accessible style. Her poems are direct, spirited, fearless, and witty. Known as a leading writer on black life in America, Giovanni touches readers of
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read2014, southern
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...

Colona Public Library
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: april, non-fiction
This book contains simple poems that you can read in an afternoon and beautiful written paragraphs. These poems makes a person sit back and think about things they don't normally think about. Great poems. There is even a poem about 2Pac. Some of my favorites were: A Summer Love Poem, I Do Have My Likes and Dislikes, Just a Simple Declaration of Love, You are There, A Happy Reason and Luxury.

Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
It's probably not surprising that the poems I liked best in this volume were the ones approaching love aslant or stretching the notion of love beyond the romantic. The ones connecting to politics or race or grief were especially powerful and seemed to offer glimpses of a particularly engaging mind and viewpoint. I'd be interested to see how that mind and viewpoint manifest in her other poetry.
Apr 09, 2011 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.
Winter Sophia Rose
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bold, Erotic, Sexy & Deep! An Excellent Read! I Loved It!
Eugenea Pollock
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
First of all, “I Take MasterCard” is hilarious. That being said, I had rather ambivalent reactions to many of the poems in this collection. To me, several (“When Gamble and Huff Ruled” and “The Only True Lovers Are Chefs or Happy Birthday, Edna Lewis” for example) were in the nature of rambling run-on sentences that left me searching for significance, deeper meaning, something else. And though I was not shocked by lines such as “I lay at the foot/of my bed and smell/the sweat of your feet” (“Whe ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got married a few weeks ago, so I'm feeling all smooshy inside and wanted to read some love poetry-- thus, this book. 70% of this collection is comprised of "love" poems in the traditional sense-- some lighthearted and whimsical (when I was still teaching, "I Wrote a Good Omelet" was one of my favorites to use in the classroom), some nostalgic and quietly profound. The remainder are about race, politics, civil rights... also "love" poems in a different sense. There were bright spots in each se ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A collection of love poems from across Nikki Giovanni’s career that encompass contexts of love beyond the romantic variety — the book is dedicated to Tupac Shakur and the poem “All Eyez On U” mourns “a beautiful boy to lose,” connecting his influence and loss to Emmett Till and Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no lack of more sentimental and sultry love poems though... Read more on my booklog
Leigh Kramer
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Such a great collection from Nikki Giovanni! A few of my favorite poems: Poetry Is A Trestle, Resignation, I Take Master Card (this one made me want to cheer.) There's a variety of tones and feelings, ranging from silly and light-hearted to serious and thought-provoking. She also explores a variety of themes and topics. While the whole collection is solid, Part III was particularly excellent.
Black Carrie
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's poems in here for everyone to love Nikki words are a sword and she knows how to use them it's so humbling she dedicated it to 2pac I highly recommend you read this and find something you might like to .
Cortney (cortingbooks)
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs
This is a GreatRead! I so love Nikki, She Spits 🔥🔥🔥🔥Only 2nd 2 Maya🤩🤩
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
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
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
Jan 13, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, anthology, poetry
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.
Kristen Lemaster
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Everything people said it would be - light and loving, dark and powerful, sweet and sensual, and above all else, unabashedly truthful. I wish we had studied her work in my high school English courses, that we had used her art to talk about things that matter and to explore our identities and privileges. Poems that will stick with me: "Kidnap Poem," "Seduction," When Gamble and Huff Ruled," "Poetry is a Trestle," "Balances," "Resignation," "How Do You Write a Poem?," and "I Take Master Card."
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read Harder - Read a book out loud to someone else.
Book Bingo - Has water on the cover
Jul 06, 2014 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 rated it it was amazing
Like no love poems you've ever read before.
David Worrell
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very short volume of Giovanni's poems. As with any collection of poetry they range from mediocre to very good and will resonate with each reader differently. Her best poems are sly, passionate, and reveal the depths of a life lived fully. Recommended.

One of my favorites:

I Take Master Card

(Charge Your Love to Me)

I've heard all the stories 'bout how you don't deserve
me 'cause I'm so strong and beautiful and wonderful and you could
never live up to what you know I should have but
I just want to let
This poetry collection was devided in three parts I'll review separately. One thing that applied to all of them though : the rythm didn't work for me.

Part 1 : Love poems, very sensual, discorded and playful. I liked it. Didn't connect really though.

Part 2 : Is love thrown towards the fighters for the Civil Rights (which I didn't know were in this book !). This was the part I actually liked. Poems to those who fought, are still fighting and to the future.

Part 3 : Back to more generic love poems.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brettlikesbooks

part spicy, bold, sexy, sassy + part unconventional, unexpected, varied expressions of love

“I don’t understand why
my hands
are cold...What am I trying to prove...
That I can keep the house as you do...
even when you’re not here...That my feet and hands don’t care...I think not...I think it’s a simple desire...unstated even to acknowledge...that when you’re not’s always cold...and the furnace..can
difference” — No Furnaces (for Valentine’s Day)
K. Lutero
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Last year, I took a class with Nikki at Virginia Tech. Every week, I would bring a muffin to class and we would split it. I don't know if she knew my name, but sometimes she would write "Muffin" at the top of my papers after I turned them in. When I told her I was getting married over the summer, she gave me this book.

Her poems are so sharp and witty, but they're also soft and truthful. If you ever get the absolute blessing to meet Nikki, you'll see that she writes and speaks with the same voice
Dana Berglund
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Not every poem in this collection (from 1997) resonated with me, but the collection as a whole is a joy. She ranges from playful to deadly serious, and can turn a phrase in a beautiful, musical way. What struck me as beautiful and heartbreaking and utterly tragic, though, were her political poems. I have not read her most recent book of poetry to see how she represents political and the struggle today, but it was a stab in the gut to see how much had not changed, or improved, since since wrote t ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for Valentine's Day. These are a wide variety of love poems---silly poems, passionate poems, rhyming poems, angry poems, prose-like passages, and everything in between. If you haven't read any poetry that you like for a long time, this is the book for you. You can curl up with it on a cold winter's night and just cozy yourself to sleep. This woman has written over 14 volumes of poetry and she's a national treasure. Absolutely fabulous poetry.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this collection. I'd read Nikki Giovani's work in college, but didn't pick it up again afterwards. I decided on this book as part of a personal reading challenge, to read a genre I never read. I loved it! It was a mix of her older poems as well as newer ones, romantic love and family love and love of the black race and public personas...all different kinds of love. I wish there had been more poems - the book ended way too soon. Definitely recommended!
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Poetry collection review 1 10 Jun 06, 2014 09:47AM  
  • Like the Singing Coming off the Drums: Love Poems
  • Revolutionary Petunias
  • Given Sugar, Given Salt
  • June Jordan's Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint
  • The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott
  • Love Speaks Its Name: Gay and Lesbian Love Poems
  • Blue Iris: Poems and Essays
  • Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach
  • Words Under the Words: Selected Poems
  • Poems
  • Afrekete: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Writing
  • She
  • Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam
  • Selected Poems
  • In Her I Am
  • Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry
  • A Place Called No Homeland
  • American Dreams
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
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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
“we used to talk all night
and do things alone together

and i’ve begun
(as a reaction to a feeling)
to balance
the pleasure of loneliness
against the pain
of loving you”
More quotes…