Keilor’s Poetry Club Chap. 2

Such as it is More or Less

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) occupied a lot of my head space in the 90s. I read, re-read Leaves of Grass like I consumed the KJV Bible growing up. He started out as a newspaper reporter in New York, but his passion blossomed into a free-style poetry, so new in the time of strict Victorian verses, a new style—a free wheelin’ man just like his ramblin’ man picture on the cover.


No stuffed shirt here. And rolling with the Transcendentalist movement in the air around him, he boldly wrote a “Song of Myself”. His line, “The quadroon girl is sold at the auction-stand”, sailed me into another direction.

So, I added a poem to this Chapter. Nikki Giovanni is a woman of color and I think she fits in this Chapter.

Unfortunately, even though her poem was written years ago, it is, as it is in our culture at the moment, more or less. 

Feel free to comment on Nikki’s poem or any other in Chapter 2 in the comment section below.


By: Nikki Giovanni

I killed a spider

Not a murderous brown recluse

Nor even a black widow

And if the truth were told this

Was only a small

Sort of papery spider

Who should have run

When I picked up the book

But she didn’t

And she scared me

And I smashed her

I don’t think

I’m allowed

To kill something

Because I am


Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni Jr.[1][2] (born June 7, 1943) is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the world’s most well-known African-American poets, her work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her poetry album, The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection.

2 thoughts on “Keilor’s Poetry Club Chap. 2

  1. That line, “I am allowed to kill something because I am frightened” , has been haunting me for a week now. Considering the thought on a number of levels. Still thinking.

    Comments to follow

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