What Is the Meaning of Nikki Giovanni’s Ego Tripping?

In “Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why),” poet Nikki Giovanni compares her ancestry and potential to ancient civilizations that have contributed to modern-day life. Giovanni stresses throughout this poem that she is powerful, and any goal is possible to attain.

In the first stanza of “Ego Tripping,” Giovanni takes credit for the great wonders of the world, such as the sphinx and pyramids, and compares herself to a star that shines a divine light. She then compares herself to Nefertiti and Allah in the second stanza. The third stanza solidifies her powers, detailing tasks made easy to her with superior speed, strength and power. Giovanni then moves on to great leaders of Rome and Greece and relates that she surpasses them because unlike them, she is not defeated. In the last stanza, Giovanni speaks of her son as Noah with reference to Newark, N.J., a city that suffered from great racial turmoil. Encyclopedia.com stresses that while the title of the poem may prompt one to believe that the poet is vain, a deeper interpretation reveals that Giovanni is merely poetically exemplifying the ways that she and the reader should feel about their possibilities.