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Meaning of “Woman”
The poem “Woman” was written by Nikki Giovanni in 1978. Women in the 70’s had no rights. What made it worse for Nikki Giovanni was that not only was she a woman but a black woman. Blacks in the 70’s were too striving to gain their rights as well. In Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Woman” the poet reveals the human desire through the characters in the poem, through the use of metaphors and poetry structure style. In this essay you will see how two characters are metaphorically assimilated and how the over all structure of the role in its true meaning.
The female character in the poem uses metaphors to express her feelings. “She wanted to be a blade of grass” means that she wants to be like everyone else. Grass is everywhere and she wants to be equal to everyone else. “She wanted to be a robin singing”, has two meanings behind it. The robin is a small animal, but it is beautiful and different. The singing of the bird in the poem is the woman’s struggle for the right to speak freely. When “she spun herself into a web”, she was in search of support. A web needs support to stand on its own. As she becomes the book she expresses that she is gaining the knowledge to be who she wants to be. When “she turned herself into a bulb”, she shows us that she is in a young stage of life and we all know that a bulb is a seed. In this case it is the seed of life. This also tells us that she is still growing.
The man in the poem is metaphorically expressed even though the poem is written for the female gender. When the man is asked to be a dandelion among the blades of grass, he is really being asked to be different, to stand out, and to be bold, not blend in. When he was asked to be “her corner,” she was asking him to be her support, to stand behind her, and to be her embrace. By refusing to read her, he was refusing to gain: the knowledge to be free, and possibly the knowledge...
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