The Touching Messages Behind Nikki Giovanni's Poetry

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During our lifetime, we feel a lot of emotion. For example, you can feel stress, happiness, sadness, depressed, etc. How about you? What kind of emotion are you feeling now? Author of this poem Nikki Giovanni has many good poem she wrote using her own experiences. She was known to just give ideas on a paper, and form them into poems. That’s why her poems feel different from other poems. She has written many works, including ‘You were gone’, ‘The world is not a pleasant place to be’, and ‘Luxury’ etc. In this poem, the author looks at the world in a pessimistic way and gloomy as you can see in title. And this poem is basically build a personification structure. Personification is when human actions are given to non-human things. The whole this poem use a lot of personification, that describes the implicative message of this poem. It’s given to the non-human things to make the poem more easy to understand, interesting and appealing. The poem’s title gives the main theme of the poem, that the author thinks the world isn’t a pleasant place to be without someone. The poem says how a companion is needed to hold out through the hard times of life. There are quite a few passages in this poem that seem to mean that you need a companion.

In first stanza, the speaker says, ‘The world is not a peasant place to be without.’ From this, the speaker seems to have written this poem with a desire to miss or see someone. And by saying ‘someone to hold and be held by,’ I can assure you that there is someone you want to hold on to. And the pronunciations ‘hold’ and ‘held’ use similar words to make you feel rhythmic.

In the second stanza, the phrase ‘river would stop its flow if only a stream were there to receive it.’ Because I likened the flow of the river to the tears of the speaker, and the stream(a person the speaker misses) the river stops when the speaker comes. So I think it is figurative of the expression, the tear stops when come back a person the speaker misses. In this passage, I felt Nikki Giovanni needed a companion. Because it says in the poem that the river will stop flowing until the stream answers, here is where the river is the speaker herself and the stream seems to mean the companion. In the third stanza, the speaker says, ‘an ocean would never laugh if clouds weren’t there to kiss her tears.’ In this passage, the speaker use a personification to express feelings by putting them into something that is not a person. Ocean cannot laugh, clouds cannot kiss. However, the speaker expressed his feelings in ocean, not in person. Where ocean represents the speaker herself, and clouds describe the person the speaker misses. In other words, the speaker can never laugh until the person she misses kisses his tears. And in this passage, also the speaker seems to have expressed the need for a companion in life. Because the speaker said Ocean would not laugh until the clouds kissed Ocean’s tears. Here, cloud means companion, ocean seems to mean speaker.

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The Touching Messages Behind Nikki Giovanni’s Poetry [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Feb 10 [cited 2022 Jun 26]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-touching-messages-behind-nikki-giovannis-poetry/
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