'Beware:Do Not Read this Poem" & "Kidnap Poem" Compare&Contrast Essay

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This is an essay I did in my english class. It talks about how the two poems mentioned in the title are similar and different..

Submitted: April 24, 2011

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Submitted: April 24, 2011



Have you ever read: “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” or “Kidnap Poem.” If  you have, please be patient while I tell those who haven’t about them. If you have never heard of these poems feel fee to read more...“Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” is a poem that is at first focused on telling a story about a woman who was consumed by her narcissistic attitude towards her reflection, then the poem “turns”, so to say, and starts to talk about how you --the reader-- have been consumed by the poem. The “Kidnap Poem” is a poem about how  poetry can be compared to kidnapping. Ishmael Reed’s “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem”  and Nikki Giovanni’s “Kidnap Poem” have similar use of metaphors, free verse, and tone however they have different use of personification.

Now for the differences. One trait that these poems do not have in common is their tone. More specifically Giovanni’s poem has a wistful tone to it while Reed’s poem is more blunt. This can be argued by the quote “If i were a poet i’d kidnap you” (3-4) from the “Kidnap Poem”. This quote is a wistful one because the poet is imagining her desire to kidnap with her poetry. Then the quotes “back off from this poem” (21), “back off from this poem” (23), and “back off from this poem” (25) from “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” all are examples of Reed’s blunt tone.

Lastly these poems are not alike when it comes to personification. Even though their is not much personification found in either poem, Ishmael Reed used a metaphor to capture the readers attention more fully by introducing a common human emotion, greed. You can see this in the quote “this poem it is a greedy mirror” (25-26). This quote is the proof of the differencebetween the two poems since their is no personification to be found in Giovanni’s poem, which is obviously a difference if only one has personification

.In conclusion Ishmael Reed’s “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” and Nikki Giovanni’s “Kidnap Poem” have similar metaphors. Another thing the two poems have in common is that they are both free verse. However the poems are not completely similar and  exhibit thier differences in their tone as well as their personification.

First the two poems have similar metaphors. In other words “ever been kidnapped by a poet” (1-2) from “Kidnap Poem” and “her whole life became the mirrors” (6-8) from “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” are both metaphors in which the poets talk about how things in life can capture the attention of people thus in a sense “taking” them.

Second the two poems show similarity with the fact that they are both free verse. In other words both poems do not follow a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.One such example can be found in he quotes “ Yeah if i were a poet i’d kidnap you” (18-20) This quote from “Kidnap Poem” shows that the poem follows not one type of meter. It is the same for Reeds poem. We can see this in the following quote “nobody can hear you can they? this poem has had you up to here belch this poem aint got no manners” (29-32). The syllables highlighted in blue are stressed.

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