Analysis of the Poem Women by Nikki Giovanni

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Analysis of the Poem Women by Nikki Giovanni

By | May 2012
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Giovanni brilliantly uses the literary devices of imagery, paralleled repetition and symbolism to depict a vivid journey of transformation, concluding with an exquisite moment of self-realization.

The use of symbolism and imagery is beautifully orchestrated in a magnificent dance of emotion that is resonated throughout the poem. The two main ideas that are keen to resurface are that of personal growth and freedom. Furthermore, at first glimpse this can be seen as a simple poem about a women’s struggle with her counterpart. However, this meaning can be interpreted more profoundly than just the causality of a bad relationship.

The image that is firstly drawn in the first stanza is that of a blade of grass amid a field and the counterpart associated is represented as a dandelion.

The idea that can be taken from this imagery of a single blade of grass amid a field is that of growth and also a longing for individuality in the midst of a homogeneous environment, represented by the field.

The counterpart, the dandelion on the other hand is a majestic flower, which is often associated with the Sun and also the Lion. The word itself is derived from the French word dent de lion (lions tooth). The Lion being a representation of the solar logos, which is often associated with nobility and divinity and also serves for SOME as a symbol of the male place in the cosmos that being the figurehead by divine right.

In consequence, the depiction of a blade of grass that wishes to be completely different from all the other grasses in the field is solely relative to her attachment to the dandelion. This fits perfectly in accordance with patriarchal society worldviews, that the women worth is solely based upon the value given to her by her male counterparts. Next, the second stanza draws a picture of a Robin singing trough the leaves. This depiction is a representation of freedom and also independence.

The bird being a representation of freedom is performing the...

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