Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Ego Tripping”

In honor of the upcoming Women’s History Month, I would like to share a piece from a woman that inspires my writing, the revolutionary poet and activist, Nikki Giovanni.

“Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)” is one of my favorite poems by Giovanni. As an African woman, I enjoy reading this poem because of the way she writes about the power of our women. This poem uses figurative language to explore our identity while expressing the beauty and pride found in the women of Africa.

Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)

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 am bad

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…

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Ego Tripping”
In honor of the upcoming Women’s History Month, I would like to share a piece from a woman that inspires my writing, the revolutionary poet and activist, Nikki Giovanni.
“Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)” is one of my favorite poems by Giovanni. As an African woman, I enjoy reading this poem because of the way she writes about the power of our women. This poem uses figurative language to explore our identity while expressing the beauty and pride found in the women of Africa.
Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)
I was born in the CongoI walked to the fertile crescent and built   the sphinxI designed a pyramid so tough that a star   that only glows every one hundred years falls   into the center giving divine perfect lightI am bad
I sat on the throne   drinking nectar with AllahI got hot and sent an ice age to Europe   to cool my thirstMy oldest daughter is Nefertiti   the tears from my birth pains   created the NileI 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 clothesI crossed it in two hoursI am a gazelle so swift   so swift you can’t catch me
   For a birthday present when he was threeI gave my son Hannibal an elephant   He gave me Rome for mother’s dayMy strength flows ever on
My son Noah built new/ark andI stood proudly at the helm   as we sailed on a soft summer dayI turned myself into myself and was   Jesus   men intone my loving name   All praises All praisesI am the one who would save
I sowed diamonds in my back yardMy bowels deliver uranium   the filings from my fingernails are   semi-precious jewels   On a trip northI caught a cold and blewMy nose giving oil to the Arab worldI am so hip even my errors are correctI 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 surrealI cannot be comprehended except by my permission
I mean…I…can fly   like a bird in the sky… High-res