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.  

Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

2 thoughts on “Ego Tripping, by Nikki Giovanni

  1. 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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