Check out her poem "Blow It Up, Pufferfish!"
I know it's not Friday. We usually watch the grand boys on Fridays at our house, but they went camping this week. So we watched the boys on Saturday (their parents' anniversary). I had high hopes for being a faithful Poetry Friday poster all month. I'm hosting Poetry Friday for the first time later in the month. Since Saturday felt like Friday all day, it seems that I'm really just a day late (instead of two) with this post.
Today, while reading some summer poems at poets.org, I reread an old favorite, "Knoxville, Tennessee" by Nikki Giovanni. I went in search of my children's book of the same title, published in 1994 and illustrated by Larry Johnson. I didn't find it, but I know it's on my shelves somewhere. When I find it, I'll be sure to shelve it with my poetry books. I fear that's it out of print since I couldn't find it on Amazon.
This poem paired perfectly with one of my "opening of school" traditions. My students used to write a Kiss Summer Goodbye paragraph each year. It was a great way for them to acknowledge what they would be missing as we moved into the beginning of the school year. We followed up with another paragraph, Embrace Festive Fall, as we looked forward to fall festivities.
And even though August is still summer, my students always felt that summer ended the day they started back to school. If you're not familiar with Giovanni's poem, take a moment to click on the title and read it. You'll be transported to summer in a grand way and perhaps reflect on some of your own summer memories. And we do need to rely on our memories this year when our summer has been lived so much differently than usual.