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Giant (for Christopher Myers)

You know
I ain’t never met a giant
Who can make things
Giants usually break things
Unmake things

But not you
You make things
You build worlds
And road maps
And treasure maps
You build treasures
And hide gold coins in the palms
Of small hands
How you be so swift anyway?
How everybody see you coming
But nobody see it coming?

You know
I never met a giant
Who say more than a grunt
But you speak masterpiece and symphony
In subtle tone
You know
Subtlety ain’t really no giant trait
Neither is grace

But one time I even saw you hold a child
Between two fingers
I hear you hide them behind your ears
To keep you up at night
You know
Children ain’t the same as fairies
But you say their magic is
And that’s what keeps your eyes open
But don’t you know giants
Supposed to sleep?
Don’t you know giants
Are only supposed to
Grunt and break things
Unmake things
When they are awake?
Don’t you know you don’t giant very well?
No you don’t
You don’t giant well at all

You know
It’s a wonder you were born this way
It’s a wonder you were born this way
The only sense I can make of it
Is I guess all that heart
Gotta go somewhere
Don’t it?

Profile of 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Christopher Myers. From the July/August 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Read Christopher Myers’s Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award acceptance speech for Firebird. For more speeches, profiles, and articles click the tag ala 2015.

Jason Reynolds About Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is the author of Long Way Down, winner of 2018 Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and Printz honors; As Brave as You; the Track series; Miles Morales: Spider-Man; When I Was the Greatest, for which he won the 2015 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award; and other novels for children and young adults.

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Comments

  1. Wait…what is this? This is great.

  2. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:

    It’s author Jason Reynolds’s profile of 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Christopher Myers. Nice, huh?

  3. Gosh, these words are strung together so beautifully.

  4. Roberta says:

    I would love to hear this beautiful poem read aloud.

  5. Reading this poem brings back all the tears of anger, joy, awe, hope, frustration, love… I felt at listening to the masterpiece of a speech made by Chris on this past Sunday morning at the Coretta Scott King youth literature awards breakfast. His is a speech to read and re-read.

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