Three years ago exactly, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite poets: Ms. Nikki Giovanni. She came to one of our favorite local bookstores, Nicola’s, in promotion of her new book, Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid. While I was there, I felt like I was in an intimate conversation, although there were close to 100 people there. We laughed, we cried, we were uncomfortable at times. But, at the end of her talk everyone wanted more. Now, that I am reflecting on the evening, I realize I learned much more than I had planned. Here are a few of my favorite quotes of the night:
“It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”
Said by Nikki Giovanni on how to live.
“I don’t think you’ll ever be a popular poet.”
These are the words that an instructor told Nikki Giovanni after taking her to lunch.
“Whatever you do in life, you cannot embarrass your dog.”
Said by Nikki Giovanni in regards to a certain look she received from her dog, Alex, on her twelfth day of moping around the house mourning the loss of her mother.
“I saw myself reach for the phone to call my mom and realized she wasn’t there.”
Said by Nikki Giovanni about her actions during the Virginia Tech shooting. She delivered her infamous speech not to address the media or dignitaries present, but to “the students who were scared and hurting.”
“Life is a good idea; go out and do something, see something.”
Said by Nikki Giovanni to the youth in attendance, urging them to obtain a passport and see the world.
I agree. Life is a good idea.