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Balances by Nikki Giovanni

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by

Salma Farag

on 27 May 2014

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Transcript of Balances by Nikki Giovanni

Poem
Use of Language, cont.
Theme and Message
Structure
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free verse
some end rhymes to connect two thoughts
stanza breaks at change of topic
organic poem
lacks capitalization and punctuation
generates continuous thoughts
In life
one is always
balancing

like we juggle our mothers
against our fathers

or one teacher
against another
(only to balance our grade average)

3 grains of salt
to one ounce truth

our sweet black essence
or the funky honkies down the street

and lately i've begun wondering
if you're trying to tell me something

we used to talk all night
and do things alone together

and i've begun

(as a reaction to a feeling)
to balance
the pleasure of loneliness
against the pain
of loving you
Use of Language
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constant battle between opposing forces
balance any feeling of pain
Metaphors:
Stanza 2
to keep a good relationship
Stanza 3
to get the grades we want
Stanza 4
3 grains of salt - lies
Refer to common idiom “take it all with a grain of salt”
Accept something less than fully
more lies than truth
About Author
An African American committed to fight for civil rights and equality
Turning Point
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by Nikki Giovanni
Balances
Stanza 5
Share African American culture and roots
“honkies” – offensive name for white people used by black people
Common question - How to retain culture in a diverse environment?
Stanza 6
Speaking to companion in the relationship
Stanza 7
Creates imagery of someone talking on the phone or taking a walk and such
reminiscing about an earlier time in the relationship
Stanza 8
Single line, single stanza
Highlight speaker’s change in attitude
Tilting the “balance” - whether continuing in the relationship is worth the pain
Stanza 9
Occurs when…
loneliness - gratifying and heart-warming
love – sorrowful


Repetition:
indefinite pronouns “one” and “ours” in the first 4 stanzas
general and vague tone

Thank You for Listening
Full transcript