Sunday, June 15, 2014

Responses to Nikki Giovanni and Lucille Clifton

Responses to Nikki Giovanni's "Ego Tripping."

Self-distinction and cultural-recognition create the image Nikki Giovanni was inspired to display in her poem “Ego Tripping.” She uses the knowledge of preliminary events, recognized throughout history, to clarify her existence as an original creation. The declaration of self-identity nurtures the power to abolish any manmade perception. --Mariah Hill

It is important for readers to pay close attention to the images of place and authority Nikki Giovanni uses throughout the poem. Readers should analyze how Giovanni personifies herself and members of kinship into those of global royalty and perfection. Readers can also analyze Giovanni's continuous use of personal pronouns with a verb immediately following and how this rhetorical technique epitomizes the grandeur of the speaker's abilities and ego. --Candace Chambers

Queenship and strength are prevalent concepts throughout Nikki Giovanni's "Ego Tripping'." Nikki Giovanni has given the reader an opportunity to journey through history’s most influential beginnings and pose as the creator. In this piece, she demands, "I cannot be comprehended except by my permission" to remind us that none can say anything to remove our queenship. --Amber Walker


Responses to Lucille Clifton's "won't you celebrate with me"

The central struggle of “won’t you celebrate with me” is the environment. The speaker was “born in babylon,” which has a negative connotation, but also survives in a place that seems to be calculated for her demise, which could very well be America. —Josalynn Smith

Readers should take note of the intentional missing capitalization as apart of Lucille Clifton's style and meaning in "wont you come celebrate with me". Clifton doesn't capitalize "Babylon" a historical and biblical reference, downplaying the importance of the place as compared to the speaker who is "both nonwhite and woman". This works with the overall theme of black women's power and greatness throughout the poem. --Alesia Alexander
What is sign finis what has become a life of hers. Being a survivor is not just something she has done or accomplished, it's the way she lives. Asking questions of what that life looks like is an essential piece to understanding the poem. --Deontez Q. Wimbley

AALCI 2014


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