Depiction of Affection in Kidnap Poem by Nikki Giovanni

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About this sample


Words: 520 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2020

Words: 520|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2020


Nikki Giovanni's "Kidnap Poem" is a poetic journey that explores the profound themes of love and desire. In this essay, we will delve into the nuances of these themes as portrayed in the poem. Giovanni's unconventional use of language, punctuation, and metaphorical imagery allows readers to connect with the raw, unfiltered emotions of love and desire.

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The poem's title, "Kidnap Poem," immediately captures our attention. It prompts us to consider the audacious notion of being "kidnapped" by a poet. This metaphorical kidnapping symbolizes the overpowering nature of love and desire. Love, like a kidnapper, seizes our emotions and holds them captive, defying reason and societal norms. The word "kidnap" conjures images of boldness and determination, reflecting the unrelenting pursuit of affection.

Giovanni's choice to forgo strict punctuation and capitalization enhances the poem's emotional impact. The absence of these formalities mirrors the chaotic and unpredictable nature of love. Love operates outside the boundaries of conventional rules, and this unconventional use of language underscores that freedom.

Repetition plays a vital role in conveying the intensity of desire within the poem. The phrase "kidnap you" recurs throughout, acting as a constant reminder of the speaker's unwavering determination to win the heart of the beloved. It symbolizes the relentlessness of love, the persistent pursuit of captivating and enchanting the object of one's affection.

Metaphor and alliteration enrich the poem's exploration of love and desire. When Giovanni writes, "lyric you in lilacs," she metaphorically likens a lyric narrative poem to lilac flowers. Lilacs are known for their fragrance and beauty, symbolizing the purity and innocence of love. The alliteration in "lyric" and "lilacs" creates a melodious quality, emphasizing that love, like poetry, can be enchanting and intoxicating.

The poem's structure, with varying line lengths within a single stanza, mirrors the ebb and flow of passion. The longer lines represent the depth of the speaker's emotions and the desire for a profound connection with the beloved. This variation in line lengths reflects the unpredictable nature of desire.

As we explore these elements of the poem, it becomes evident that Nikki Giovanni's "Kidnap Poem" transcends the boundaries of traditional poetry. It delves into the profound territory of love and desire, depicting them as forces that can captivate, compel, and consume.

The unconventional use of punctuation, repetition, and alliteration enhances the portrayal of love as a raw and unbridled emotion. This rawness allows readers to connect with the intensity of the speaker's emotions, evoking empathy and understanding.

In essence, "Kidnap Poem" invites us to contemplate the multifaceted nature of love. It defies conventions and emphasizes the power of love to overwhelm the heart and soul. The poem serves as a reminder that love, like a poet's words, has the capacity to captivate and forever alter the course of our lives.

In our own lives, love and desire often manifest in various forms. Whether it is the affection between partners, the bond between parent and child, or the passion for a creative pursuit, the themes explored in Giovanni's poem resonate universally. We have all experienced moments of longing, yearning, and the desire to captivate and be captivated.

Giovanni's poem reminds us that love can be both a gentle whisper and a fierce storm. It is an emotion that defies easy categorization, encompassing tenderness, passion, and vulnerability. Love's unpredictability mirrors the ever-changing landscape of desire, where one moment we are captivated by its sweetness, and the next we are consumed by its intensity.

In our quest for love and desire, we often grapple with the fear of rejection and the uncertainty of reciprocation. Giovanni's poem acknowledges these complexities by portraying love as an audacious act, akin to a kidnapping. It highlights the courage it takes to pursue our desires, even when the outcome is uncertain.

Moreover, the poem suggests that love and desire are not passive emotions. They require active pursuit and engagement. The speaker's determination to "kidnap" the beloved implies a willingness to go to great lengths to win affection. It prompts us to consider the actions we are willing to take to achieve our own desires, whether they are in the realm of love, career, or personal aspirations.

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In conclusion, Nikki Giovanni's "Kidnap Poem" is a poetic exploration of love and desire that resonates deeply with readers. Through her use of metaphor, alliteration, repetition, and unconventional punctuation, she captures the essence of these complex emotions. The poem reminds us that love is a powerful force that defies convention and reason, and it invites us to embrace our desires with audacity and determination. Love and desire are fundamental aspects of the human experience, and Giovanni's poem serves as a timeless reflection on their enduring significance in our lives.


  1. Giovanni, N. (1972). Ego-Tripping (there may be a reason why). In “My House” (pp. 23-24). Harper & Row.
  2. Giovanni, N. (1975). The Women and the Men. William Morrow & Company.
  3. Smith, R. J. (2003). Nikki Giovanni: A Literary Biography. University Press of Mississippi.
  4. Lupton, M. (2008). Nikki Giovanni: Poet of the People. ABDO Publishing.
  5. Stepto, R. B. (1985). Introduction: A Gesture of Love: Nikki Giovanni and the Poem as Peasant’s Song. In “Nikki Giovanni: The Poetry of Nikki Giovanni” (pp. 1-8). Harper & Row.
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Depiction Of Affection In Kidnap Poem By Nikki Giovanni. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Depiction Of Affection In Kidnap Poem By Nikki Giovanni.” GradesFixer, 10 Oct. 2020,
Depiction Of Affection In Kidnap Poem By Nikki Giovanni. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Apr. 2024].
Depiction Of Affection In Kidnap Poem By Nikki Giovanni [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 10 [cited 2024 Apr 19]. Available from:
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