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Bicycles: Love Poems (Hardcover)

by Nikki Giovanni (Author)

Product Description

In a career that has earned her accolades, honorary degrees, and awards from both fellow poets and everyday poetry lovers, Nikki Giovanni has established herself as a writer who can entertain and challenge, inform and inspire. Sometimes controversial, sometimes ethereal, but always beautiful, her poems move readers of all hues and generations.

With Bicycles, she's collected poems that serve as a companion to her 1997 Love Poems. An instant classic, that book—romantic, bold, and erotic—expressed notions of love in ways that were delightfully unexpected. In the years that followed, Giovanni experienced losses both public and private. A mother's passing, a sister's, too. A massacre on the campus at which she teaches. And just when it seemed life was spinning out of control, Giovanni redis-covered love—what she calls the antidote. Here romantic love—and all its manifestations, the physical touch, the emotional pull, the hungry heart—is distilled as never before by one of our most talented poets.

About the Author

Poet, activist, mother, and professor, Nikki Giovanni is a three-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. The author of twenty-seven books and a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is the University Distinguished Professor/English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and an Oprah Living Legend.

Trust & Balance, January 20, 2009
By Phyllis Rhodes (Orlando, FL USA)

Nikki Giovanni celebrates her 65 years with 65 poems following in the tradition of her well-received earlier release, Love Poems, and expands on the nuances, notions, and manifestations of love. She taps into the senses: the instant physiological reactions of seeing a lover or loved one regardless of whether they are a revered figure (in an ode to "Free Huey") or familial as reflected in "Christmas Laughter." Tastes are echoed in the references of food seasoned just right and prepared with the right dose of tender loving care. Hearing and touching are featured in several pieces devoted to jazz and the influence music has in the art of love and loving. "Love Luther" is dedicated to the love that Luther Vandross inspired with his melodic voice and songs that begat a generation. She does not let us forget the power of memories elicited from the whiff of a lover's cologne, smell of "him" on his shirt, or revisiting his essence on the sweat-soaked sheets the morning after. Filled with metaphors Miss Nikki reminds us that love can be experienced everywhere at all times from many sources even our ancestors, our families, our friends, ourselves. We must be patient and mindful of it for it is a loving balm that can strengthen and renew us when we need it most.

Opening and closing with reflections on the Virginia Tech massacre, she shares her observations and lessons learned that love can lift anyone from the depth of tragedy. There are other works in the collection that mention the peace and protection love can bring, the sacrifices loved ones make, and the joy it offers. There is something for everyone in this compact offering because she covers the concept in many settings and from many angles. Bicycles is a short, sweet, enjoyable collection that is easily absorbed into the soul.

Reviewed by Phyllis
January 19, 2009