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Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose

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Notes From Black Reads

Whether it's personal or political, we need Nikki Giovanni's beautiful and poetic voice. The poems and prose in Make Me Rain are sometimes dedicated to friends, family or her literary peers. But in each one of them, we can hear her speaking to us, making the "big" in life easier to understand, putting us shoulder to shoulder with giants (our mothers, our friends, strangers) and letting us know she is here to embolden us. We dare you to read "Vote" and not do so. Keep the poem in your pocket this fall. It will take you far.

One of America’s most celebrated poets challenges us with this powerful and deeply personal collection of verse that speaks to the injustices of society while illuminating the depths of her own heart.

For more than fifty years, Nikki Giovanni’s poetry has dazzled and inspired readers. As sharp and outspoken as ever, she returns with this profound book of poetry in which she continues to call attention to injustice and racism, celebrate Black culture and Black lives, and and give readers an unfiltered look into her own experiences.

In Make Me Rain, she celebrates her loved ones and unapologetically declares her pride in her Black heritage, while exploring the enduring impact of the twin sins of racism and white nationalism. Giovanni reaffirms her place as a uniquely vibrant and relevant American voice with poems such as “I Come from Athletes” and “Rainy Days”—calling out segregation and Donald Trump; as well as “Unloved (for Aunt Cleota)” and “”When I Could No Longer”—her personal elegy for the relatives who saved her from an abusive home life.

Stirring, provocative, and resonant, the poems in Make Me Rain pierce the heart and nourish the soul.

ISBN-13: 9780062995285

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Date: 10-20-2020

Pages: 144

Product Dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)

Nikki Giovanni, poet, activist, mother, and professor, is a seven-time NAACP Image Award winner and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, and holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, among many other honors. The author of twenty-eight books and a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is the University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Make Me Rain 1

No Pancakes Please 2

A Query 4

You Talk about Rape 5

Vote 8

At the Important End 10

And So It Comes to This 12

Quiet 14

America 16

Big Sisters 17

Poem 18

Everything but the Water 20

I Am Your Sweatshirt 21

Life on Mars 23

No I.D. Required 25

Song of Myself 26

Some Call It Love 27

The Blues 28

Love in All Colors 30

Unloved 32

1619 Jamestown (but not only) 34

In the Evening 36

For Pat Moss 37

After the Day 38

Malcolm X and the Guardian 39

Lemonade Grows from Soil, Too 40

For Therrell Smith 42

Leaves 43

One-Three; Two-Three; Three-Ones 44

Love 45

A Good Job 47

The 10th Planet 49

In Silence 50

Winter Homes 51

But Some of Us Stayed 52

Happy Mother's Day 54

We Write 55

Train Rides Matter 59

Space Inside Mostly but Out 61

Changes 65

I Come from Athletes 67

Transitions 70

Our Own Path 71

De-Planeing 73

Seeds 74

Spring 76

When the Music Stopped 78

We Knew 79

6 May 2018 Approximately 9:00 P.M. or 10:30 P.M. 80

Raise Your Hand 82

The First Students of Color at Virginia Tech 84

Rainy Days 86

Submission for the Ehony Commemorative Edition on Barack Obama 87

Ntozake Shange 88

The Gift of Nurses 89

When I Could No Longer 90

I'm Just a Poet 91

Ladysitting with Grandmother 92

Laughter 93

Quilts 94

Sister Althea 96

A Short Bio of Nikki Giovanni

Ferguson: The Musical 98

Yes 101

Vegetable Soup 102

Cool 104

Physics 105

It's Just Love 107

The Circle 109

The Counting Song 110

A Bench 112

Biography 114

And Yeah … This Is a Love Poem 116

Tupac 121