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Sunday, April 22, 2007

We Are Virginia Tech, by Nikki Giovanni

Here is the text of Nikki Giovanni's moving tribute to Virginia Tech, read during the special convocation held this week honoring the fallen students and faculty of VT.

We Are Virginia Tech

We are Virginia Tech
We are sad today
And we will be sad for quite a while
We are not moving on
We are embracing our mourning
We are Virginia Tech
We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly
We are brave enough to bend to cry ...
And sad enough to know we must laugh again
We are Virginia Tech
We do not understand this tragedy
We know we did nothing to deserve it
But neither does a child in Africa dying of aids
Neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by a rogue army
Neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory
Neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water
Neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of night in his crib in the home its father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destablized
No one deserves a tragedy
We are Virginia Tech
The Hokie nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds
We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid
We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be
We are alive to the imagination and the possibility
We will continue to invent the future
Through our blood and tears
Through all this sadness
We are the Hokies
We will prevail
We will prevail
We will prevail
We are Virginia Tech

-- Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor of English, VPI&SU

View the reading on CNN's video archives of her masterful reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is she a well known poet? I saw where she had refused to teach him last year and had referred him to the college counselling services. She said his pieces were dark and disturbing - I saw her interviewed on FoxNews - Malcolm calls it the "shout channel".