Fill a stocking of your favorite poet with with love poems by Nikki Giovanni. “She came to JMU when I was in school there,” Avery Minor explains at Busboys And Poets in Shirlington. Her poem “Black Love is Black Wealth” is about growing up through hard times but still being happy because there was love. “You know they usually focus on the hard times. But we should include Langston-Hughes because Busboys and Poets was named after him. He was discovered as a poet while working as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel downtown in the 1920s. Maybe ‘Dream Deferred’ is his best known poem. ‘What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?’ Another good one is ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers.’ ‘My soul has grown deep like the rivers.’” Minor says there were a lot of poets in DC in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance movement. “But they moved to Harlem and they got all of the credit in New York. Here is a good collection of poems by Countee Cullen or James Baldwin and you could throw in the ‘Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe.’”
Photo by Shirley Ruhe.
Christmas stockings can pose a number of challenges. First of all the gift must fit in the stocking, hopefully without being folded, coaxed or crammed. The gifts can’t be refrigerated, shouldn’t be breakable and ought to be a fun surprise. They could center around a theme or be a mixture of things that reflect the personality of the owner of the stocking. So think outside the box — or the stocking.