Study Guide

A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long Stanza 6

By Nikki Giovanni

Stanza 6

Lines 33-39

But she nonetheless brought the books
Back and I held them to my chest
Close to my heart
And happily skipped back to grandmother's house
Where I would sit on the front porch
In a gray glider and dream of a world
Far away

  • Despite the humiliation Mrs. Long may have suffered uptown, she wins. And when she wins, Giovanni benefits.
  • The innocence and happiness of the young poet here contrasts strongly with the tension and sense of danger from the last stanza, showing us that Giovanni felt safe and loved in a time and place that might have otherwise crushed her spirit.
  • The sense of safety that we feel in this stanza is created by images of "cocooning": wrapping the precious books up in her arms, holding them to her heart (a literal image, but also symbolic of her passion and affection), snuggling down into the "gray glider" to explore poetry and philosophy. 
  • The B sound alliteration in lines 33-34 emphasizes her exuberance as she skips home from the library, like a bubble bouncing on air ("brought," "books," and "back"). 
  • We can hear more alliteration in line 38 ("gray glider"), as the young girl slides away into the world of ideas.
  • Check out "Sound Check" for more on the sounds in this poem.