Nikki Giovanni

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What does "Choices" mean by Nikki Giovanni?   

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On one hand, the speaker of the poem seems to be making the best of a bad or an unappealing situation. In the first stanza, she says that if she cannot do what she wants, she can at least refuse to do what she doesn't want to do. In the second stanza, she thinks that if she cannot have what she wants, then she will learn to want what she does have. In the third stanza, she concludes that if she cannot go one way, she will go another. And finally, in the last stanza, she determines that she will try to feel what she can express because she cannot (yet) express what she feels. 

This "doing what you can" attitude can be interpreted as a maturation but it might also be considered a matter of settling. And in this case of the latter (settling), the reader gets the impression that the speaker is being oppressed, held down, or forced to live in certain ways. But, the speaker does not merely settle. In this case, the speaker does what she can in spite of those forces which limit her. Rather than quitting, settling into, and/or dwelling on her limitations, she "chooses" to act, think, and move in some way and in doing so, she chooses to pursue her own personal progress. 

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