18 pages 36 minutes read

Nikki Giovanni

Ego Tripping

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1968

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Symbols & Motifs

Patriarchal Figures in World Religions

The speaker refers to herself as a royal divinity, and in the second stanza, she equates herself with the Olympian gods as she sips “nectar” (Line 9) while sitting with Allah, the God of Islam. This casual depiction of an encounter between friends suggests that the speaker is an also an equal to Allah, especially as she is seated on her queen’s throne as they share a beverage.

Later in the poem, she identifies herself with powerful male figures of the Christian religion like Noah, a patriarch of the Bible’s Old Testament, and Jesus, God’s son and the Christian savior of all humanity. The speaker, not Noah, who is credited as the savior of the world’s animals thanks to his ark, gives her son an elephant for his third birthday. The speaker transforms herself into Jesus, and as a result, “all men intone my loving name” (Line 32). These references to important Judeo-Christian men accentuate the speaker’s exaggerated sense of importance as she feels entitled to “[a]ll praises” (Line 33) that Christians offer in celebration of God and Jesus.

The speaker’s identification with male Christian spiritual leaders and with Allah contrasts with her earthly concerns, like the natural wonders discussed below, and her irreverent use of slang to describe herself.

blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
Unlock IconUnlock all 18 pages of this Study Guide
Plus, gain access to 8,000+ more expert-written Study Guides.
Including features:
+ Mobile App
+ Printable PDF
+ Literary AI Tools