Ego Tripping, by Nikki Giovanni

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Michelle McCleary brings us today’s poem.  Michelle is a long time activist in the independent movement and President of the Metro NY Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

Here is what Michelle writes about “Ego Tripping”:

Ego Tripping by Nikki Giovanni is one of my favorite poems.  The poem reminds me of the power and beauty of women: not only do we figure out how to make a way out of no way on a daily basis, but we carry and give birth to other human beings!!  I just wish that women could remember this as they/we doubt ourselves, stay silent or act dumb in the presence of men, and compete with each other for crumbs.  We deserve the whole cake!!”

 Ego Tripping by Nikki Giovanni


I was born in the Congo

I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx

I designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls

Into the center giving divine perfect light


I sat on the throne drinking nectar with Allah

I got hot and sent an ice age to Europe to cool my thirst

My oldest daughter is Nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the Nile

I am a beautiful woman


I gazed on the forest and burned out the Sahara desert

With a packet of goat’s meat and a change of clothes

I crossed it in two hours

I am a gazelle so swift, so swift you can’t catch me


For a birthday present when he was three

I gave my son Hannibal an elephant

He gave me Rome for mother’s day

My strength flows ever on


My son Noah built new/ark and

I stood proudly at the helm

As we sailed on a soft summer day

I turned myself into myself and was Jesus


Men intone my loving name

All praises, all praises

I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard

My bowels deliver uranium

The filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels

On a trip north

I caught a cold and blew my nose giving oil to the Arab world

I am so hip even my errors are correct

I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went

The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal

I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean … I … can fly

Like a bird in the sky


Our celebration of National Poetry month continues throughout April with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

Leave a comment


  1. Simone

     /  April 21, 2016

    This is one of my favorite poem…beautiful!

  2. Diane Buscemi

     /  April 22, 2016

    This is beautiful, Michelle. I love her work but never read this one. Thanks for this reminder of who we are.


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