A poem for mine Librarian, Mrs. Long Introduction

If you"re in the sector for a hero, we"ve gained someone because that you. Nikki Giovanni: celebrated poet, activist for polite rights and equality, Virginia tech professor, strong voice for the black community, and also yes, record artist. She"s acquired a smooth voice, 25 honorary degrees, and also a "Thug Life" tattoo on her forearm. And also if you make it every the method through high college or college without analysis her many anthologized city "Nikki Rosa," something has gone terribly, horribly wrong.

You are watching: A poem for my librarian mrs. long

But even a gigantic of modern-day poetry had to start somewhere, and we acquire to see one such minute in "A poem for my Librarian, Mrs. Long," published in Giovanni"s 2007 collection Acolytes. Giovanni spent happy summers with her grandparents in Knoxville, Tennessee together a boy (she also attended high institution there), which contained formative experiences like listening come jazz in the evenings, visiting good-smelling book shops in the middle of town, and also satisfying her intellectual curiosity by visiting the community library.

Giovanni wants united state to know that every one of the great stuff in her life—the poetry, activism, popularity, and praise—happened due to the fact that there were people who do a difference in she life. Mrs. Long is not just a civil servant doing she job; she"s a woman getting to out to another (young) woman at a an essential moment. She offers Giovanni a precious gift: the resources to check out the beautiful world of ideas.

More importantly, Mrs. Long gives her the room to do so without interference native the hostility of racial intolerance. Along with Giovanni"s grandmother, civilization like Mrs. Lengthy made life beautiful for her. And also that"s a great place to start a life the poetry.

What is A poem for my Librarian, Mrs. Long about and Why have to I Care?

This poem may strike you together a satisfied memory and also nothing more. Yet don"t forget who"s speaking here. This is Nikki Giovanni, the poet who provided a voice come the African-American experience at time of an excellent social upheaval—the so late "60s and also "70s—and who proceeds to do so to this day.

While the city praises Mrs. Long and shows just how Giovanni had a happy childhood, it also highlights how much effort it took for plain things to happen. By choosing an everyday task (borrowing books) and setting (a windy library), the poet illustrates exactly how race complicates the most innocent activities of her childhood.

The type of quiet courage displayed by Mrs. Long demonstrates that tiny actions do a lasting impact—even if that is only on the life the one little girl. (It"s a bonus that the tiny girl flourished up to it is in a mighty poet.)

This tiny poem is important, too, because that is a memory. It"s set in a time and also place that became an important for the breakthrough of race connections in America. It also shows just how life to be made beautiful and also promising because that one young girl v an eager mind. Despite the hatred imagined in ~ the mid-point the the poem, Giovanni pipeline us v a revolutionary idea: that the kindness and also empathy that one person deserve to open the door to a life the wonder and life-giving transformation for others. And that, hunterriverpei.comers, offers you a powerful reason to care around this poem.

A poem for my Librarian, Mrs. Long Resources


A Poet"s LifeHere friend will find solid biographical information, a bibliography, and many resources to aid you with research. Over there is likewise a tab on the web page that allows you explore an ext of Giovanni"s poems.

Details, DetailsHere"s a wonderfully detailed timeline of Nikki Giovanni"s early on life. Nice much every little thing you require to know is right here.


"Nikki Rosa"Giovanni performs her most anthologized poem. You deserve to truly hear the effect of her cost-free verse and its imitation of herbal speech here.

I Think I"ve gained the BluesGiovanni performs her work "Talk to me poem" for Def Poetry.

We room Virginia TechNikki Giovanni delivers closeup of the door remarks (a poem) to students and faculty mourning the lose of 32 students and also the wounding the 17 in the 2007 massacre in ~ Virginia Tech, where she is a identified professor of English.

Marching OnCheck the end this video footage of very early 1960s civil rights march through downtown Knoxville (Market Square and Gay Streets, the basic area close to the library and also bookstore mentioned in the poem). Can our poet have actually witnessed or participated in this? perhaps so.


Ego Tripping, praise BeGiovanni performs she most renowned poem "Ego Tripping" with the backing that the new York City Choir on the 1971 album Truth is ~ above its Way.

The really Best Of...Here"s Giovanni"s "2nd Rapp," set to "This tiny Light that Mine"—a beautiful, rousing rendition the both works.


The Poet HerselfHere she is, looking together direct and joyful together ever.

The LibraryHere is an image of the Lawson McGhee Library in Knoxville circa the mid-1940s, about 15 years before Giovanni would have met Mrs. Long.

AcolytesHere"s the cover arts for the arsenal Acolytes, in i m sorry the poem to Mrs. Lengthy appears.

Civil civil liberties in NashvilleThe photo in this article, that a sit-in at a Nashville lunch counter, was part of one exhibition on civil civil liberties in the Lawson McGhee Library (the one in the poem). The short article highlights Nashville (about 180 miles from Knoxville) as the an initial city in the south to desegregate public institutions.

Articles and Interviews

KarmaNikki Giovanni is hosted by Omari Hardwick in this gambling Genius talks episode, i m sorry he opens up with the many unabashed poem of praise for his mentor. Obtain the organization out.

SwayThis is great interview with Nikki Giovanni in i m sorry she talks about the prominence of beer, her "Thug Life" tattoo, and also the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

JFG RedivivusThis is a good story about the dismantling and restoration the the JFG Coffee sign, i m sorry Giovanni mentions in heat 4 the this poem.


Finding the PoemYou can find the poem of prayer for Mrs. Long reprinted here, in Giovanni"s occupational Acolytes.

You Know, for KidsGiovanni edits and contributes to this nifty collection of poems (with accompanying CD!) for kids. But don"t it is in fooled—adults will certainly love this too.

The LatestDr. Giovanni doesn"t slim prose—and you can be surprised just how the book gets that is title.

Movies and also TV

Poet"s CafeDr. G appeared on the long-running show as a guest.

See more: How Can A Food Handler Identify Pathogens ? Servsafe Flashcards

Number One with a BulletThe poet shows up as herself in this 2008 documentary around violence in i know well hop culture.