April 28

Ap 28/16 Station B: Is the poem positive or negative? Prove it.

With all types of literature, authors can actually play around developing their own style or a style for a particular text. This is true for the next poem in this station.

What’s unusual about this poem is  it speaks in double negatives; by the pairing of words, it seems a bit tricky to really clarify what the poem is saying.

It’s also very fitting because of what the speaker of the poem is dealing with – not having many opportunities to make their own decisions.

Task: With a partner or on your own

  1. Make a COPY of the poem in this Google Doc file. In your Copy, read the poem through and on the right-hand side summarize in your own words what the stanzas say. This will take it from the double negative talk to a straightforward explanation.
  2. Discuss with your partner and try to figure out what purpose and/or main point the speaker is trying to make clear through their narration.
  3. After reading the poem, decide if it’s mostly a positive or negative poem and explain your opinion below as a comment. Be thorough in your explanation of your choice.
  • Each group will submit one comment.
  • Make sure you identify the members of your group.

The poem is provided below. A digital copy of it to comment on online or to print a copy from it is given above in Step 1. 

B5 Poem – Choices nikki giovanni(pdf copy)

Posted April 28, 2016 by Waldner in category ELA B10

18 thoughts on “Ap 28/16 Station B: Is the poem positive or negative? Prove it.

  1. Jadelyn

    Section B “Choices” Poem Response
    I think this poem is about a person who wants more then what they have in their life but they know that isn’t possible so they have to learn to be happy with what she’s got already and work towards becoming better. I think this is a negative poem because there are plenty of negative points about how we can never always be happy there will always be sadness, “but that’s why mankind alone among the animals learns to cry.”

  2. Jessica

    This poem is more negative then positive. Even though the stanzas start kind of positive by saying what they can do to fix what the problem is they end very negatively. An example would be the last stanza when it is saying even though they can’t feel the emotions they want, they will practices and try. So they are stating that they will try and and add emotion and feelings to what they lack, but then at the end the person states that everyone will learn to be sad and will cry, which is very sad and not positive.

  3. Zach

    The poem starts out negitive but then the poem turns positive because he does what he can and is happy with it.

    Zooch, wildy, Brody

  4. Calina

    We thought the poem was negative because she is sad about what she can’t do. She decides that if she can’t do what she wants she will do what she can and do it the best she can

  5. Jadelyn

    i think this poem starts of positive because the writer talks about how they know they cant do everything but they also tknow they have to be happy with what they have. it ends sadly because the writer talks about thats why we learn how to cry because we do end up getting upset with what we dont have.

  6. Tyson

    In the first stanza it isn’t the most clear thing but the writer is saying that she should be able to do what she wants, but as she explains how her choices go further into the poem you realize that nothing is going the way she wants, she gets close and can see what she wants but is forced to settle with what she’s got, and in the end cries, this isn’t just representing her life though it is also representing the suffocating scoicle convention we have created in our society, I have no idea how this poem could ever be considered positive.

  7. Saleen Hammy

    Negative the writer is focusing on what they can’t do most of this poem so they try to focus on what they have but they rebound back to what they don’t.

  8. Jenna

    I think the poem is positive because she know she can’t have everything, but she will use what she has to do the best she can and she’s making the most of it

  9. .Braeden

    The poem is talking about how she can’t do what she want or get what she wants in her life but does the best she can.cso I think it’s a more negative then positive

  10. Waldner (Post author)

    Jessica’s comment:
    This poem is more negative, because even though it starts positive it ends with more negatives. Especially in the end when it states we all learn to cry.

  11. Morgan

    overall I think that this poem is negative. they focus on the negatives of everything instead of on the positive side. Of course, this also creates double negatives, but the fact that they speak through these negatives gives a negative energy and feel to the poem. they are not focusing on the things that they have and what they can do, but the things they don’t have and the things they can’t do. this poem also ends on a more negative note that talks about crying and leaves a negative lasting impression.

  12. becky2015b

    We think this is a positive poem because the person in the poem is overcoming roadblocks in his life. It talks about how there is struggles in life but through a certain worldview we can learn to accept that there is these struggles and we can move on.

    Mackenzie, Trystan, Bella, Nate

  13. Carson and Leah

    Carson and Leah: we feel that this poem is both positive and negative. The reason we think that it is negative is the writter is always adding negative aspects to his poem. The last stanza is very negative because it is saying that the human species will never be able to fully express what we feel. It could also be a positive poem because he is showing that there is another option to take when you can’t do what you want.

  14. villib2015

    I feel like this poem is negative. It is about someone who is looking at all of the negatives to everything in life. He/she is saying that if they cannot achieve something they want, they should just be happy with what they have and pretty much give up on their goal. It also says, in the last stanza, that we as a human have feelings that we can’t express so we learn to practice feelings that we can express.

  15. Jackson F and Jaxson B

    Station B: Is the poem negative or positive?
    This poem is very negative in our opinion. The writer seems to only want to do what he wants to do we see this in the first stanza “if I can’t do what I want to do then my job is to not do what I don’t want” this is symbolizing that if he can’t do what he wants he will try hard to not to it. Every stanza is very similar and there is little positivity in it.
    Jaxson and Jackson

  16. Brennon, Cole, Kaylan

    The poem is like a positive negative sandwich-the negative is like the bread, surrounding the positive as the first and last stanza portrays negativity. The positive is like the substance, but when you see it, you notice the outside much more than the inside, meaning the most prominent theme in the poem is negativity.

  17. Jenna And Jade

    In analyzing this poem. Jade and I have come to the conclusion, that this poem sets a negative tone. The writer is saying negative things but looking at the positive of it which is really negative. He has nothing good to look forward to. This guys life is sad and depressing. You can tell it’s negative how he’s says “I can’t have what I want” and “if I can’t do it”

  18. Olivia

    I think what the author is trying to say is to be content with what you have but that might not always make you happy. It is negative and positive. Says things that are positive but sounds negative. -Olivia


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