Thursday, January 3, 2013


 A crutch is something providing help or support to somebody or something. It is used to help heal someone after they’ve been injured. In the poem “Crutches”, Nikki Giovanni speaks from both a male and female perspective. From that, one can assume the audience would be older women and men in the African American society.  I believe the message that is being conveyed in this poem would be the importance of needing someone or something in order to be strong. In the second stanza the poet talks about women and how they aren’t allowed to need help and be strong.  She notes, “Women aren’t allowed to need so they develop social smiles and secret drinking problems and females loves whom they never touch except in dreams”. This line basically shows the end result of women not being to show who they truly are. In the next stanza, Giovanni talks about men and the idea of being strong from their perspective.  After looking at both perspectives, it shows how men and women are emotionally different. Men worry more about their bodies while women worry about the importance of their emotions. The structure of this poem helps convey the message of this poem. In every stanza Giovanni gives a different example of how a crutch can be used. The male and female example of a crutch was expressed individually but last stanza brings everything back together. Nikki Giovanni says “emotional fall always are the worst and there are no crutches to swing back on”. This line brings together the emotional strength of the male and female perspective. It reveals that when you fall emotional no matter how strong you may seem there aren’t any crutches for you use to help keep you strong.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you address the audience of the poems in your posts. I agree that this poem is meant for both women and men, but I don't necessarily feel that it's solely for African Americans. It seems as if she's speaking for people or human society in general. I argue this because she never mentions race during the poem.

    In addition to providing stanza by stanza synopsis, think about the stylistic devices Giovanni uses in the poem. Use of quotes? Punctuation or the lack there of? Imagery?