A Wander Through Poetry

May 16, 2012
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Have you ever had a book that you just couldn’t put down? One might even say that you were trapped in the writing. That is the beauty of poetry. In “The Kidnap Poem” by Nikki Giovanni, that is the message that she tries to get across. In the poem ‘I Wander as Lonely as a Cloud’ William Wordsworth describes that even though he is free he is still lonely. These two poems may sound entirely different, but, they have surprising similarities. The two poems are both captivating; they are different because of their symbols, tone and rhyme, but, they use the same style of extended metaphor.
To start off, the first difference is symbols. In the first poem, William Wordsworth uses a lonely cloud to stand for disconnection. On line 1 he writes, “ I wandered lonely as a cloud.” From the point of view of the writer he feels disconnected from the nature below because he is observing at a distance in the clouds. However, Nikki Giovanni attempts to kidnap the reader’s mind through the poem. In lines 3 and 4 she states, “If I were a poet I’d kidnap you.” The writer tries to capture one’s mind through her writing. Clearly, both authors use symbols, but they’re still diverse.
The second difference is the tone. In Wordsworth’s poem, he creates a lighthearted and soft tone with his words. For example in lines 23 and 24 he writes, “And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.” The whole poem, but this line especially, has such a joyful feeling. Who wouldn’t be happy dancing with daffodils? In Giovanni’s poem she had a more creepy and intense tone. For example in lines 18-20 it says, “Yeah if I were a poet I’d kidnap you.” When the author says she would kidnap you, it creates a very intense tone, making one believe that they really would be kidnapped. These two poems have completely different tones.
Thirdly, both poems have different structures. Wordsworth’s poem has a rhyme scheme of ABABCC. For instance, the last words in lines 4-6 rhyme, “daffodils, trees, breeze.” Wordsworth creates a floating effect by having a smooth rhythm, it’s almost like one could be floating on the cloud with him. In contrast to that, Giovanni does not have a pattern or rhyme to her poem. The last words in lines 13-17 do not have any rhyme, “you, song, you, green, mama.” Through this Giovanni creates a rough tone almost as if one was being carried away, kidnapped. Therefore, both “Cloud” and “Kidnap” use their rhyme, or lack of, to create different feelings of lightness or roughness in the poems.

Despite the differences between the two poems, they do have a similarity in their metaphoric usage. The poem’s “The Kidnap Poem” and “I Wander as Lonely as a Cloud” both contain extended metaphors. In line 24 of ‘I Wander as Lonely as a Cloud’ Wordsworth says “...and dances with the daffodils.” implying that daffodils can dance. Also, in line 5 of ‘The Kidnap Poem’ Giovanni says “...put you in my phrases” and in line 9 “...lyric you in lilacs” both of which are implying that a poem can kidnap you. Overall both poems contain extended metaphors, therefore, they have a similarity.

In conclusion William Wordsworth’s poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” is different from Nikki Giovanni’s poem, “Kidnap Poem” because of the symbols, tone and thyme, at the same time, they both use the same figure of speech. First, Wordsworth symbolizes disconnection to life, whereas Giovanni symbolizes one’s mind being captured through poetry. Secondly, in Wordsworth’s poem he uses a lighthearted tone. Third, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” has a rhyme scheme but “Kidnap Poem” doesn’t, so one might feel as if they were actually being kidnapped. Lastly, both poems use extended metaphors to make unmoving objects move; for example, Wordsworth makes daffodils dance and Giovanni writes about poems kidnapping someone, which both aren’t possible. Different types of literature have a variety of ways to hook a reader, both of these poems use the essence of that art to really delight the audience.





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