Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Poem First Night by Nikki Grimes
In the poem “First Night” by Nikki Grimes, the speaker’s attitude towards nature during a camping trip is excited and amazed. The speaker uses positive connotation, imagery, figurative language, and diction, to describe how they feel.
In stanza one, when the speaker says, “sleeping was hard/with all the sparkling beauty hanging overhead,” (Lines 5-6) they are referring to the stars overhead. Use of the words sparkling beauty shows that the speaker feels like nature is a beautiful place, and they are amazed by the pretty, exciting things that they don’t want to miss by falling asleep. Positive connotation and imagery with the word sparkling, and figurative language with sparkling beauty, contribute to the feeling of excitement and amazement by allowing the reader to picture the beauty the speaker is seeing.
Another example that shows that the speaker’s attitude is in stanza 2, when the speaker says, “Night-lights, Zuri, everywhere!/Clusters of fireflies dancing ‘round my head,/keeping me from bed/for hours.,” (Lines 6-11). They are clearly referring to fireflies flying around in the sky. Positive, joyful words like dancing make the poem have a light, joyful tone and connotation. In line 7, there is an exclamation mark, which are used in sentences when showing excitement. This also gives the poem a excited, joyful sound. Night-lights give comfort when you are in the dark, so by using the comparison of fireflies to night lights, the poem gets a comforting, exciting feeling. Clusters of fireflies dancing is used as imagery, so the reader can see the beauty that the speaker is experiencing. Diction and word choice also have an effect on how the speaker shows that they feel excited. By choosing words such as “sparkling” and “dancing,” the poem immediately gets an image of beauty and excitement. Without diction and word choice, there would not be much feeling in the poem.
Therefore, through positive connotation, imagery, figurative language, and diction the speaker shows that their attitude towards nature is amazed and excited.