Literary Criticism Essay

798 WordsMar 6, 20134 Pages
One of Suheir Hammad's most notable works is her poem entitled "What I Will." It is an empowering piece, demonstrating Hammad's strength and individuality. I will not dance to your war drum. I will not lend my soul nor my bones to your war drum. I will not dance to your beating. I know that beat. It is lifeless. I know intimately that skin you are hitting. It was alive once hunted stolen stretched. I will not dance to your drummed up war. I will not pop spin beak for you. I will not hate for you or even hate you. I will not kill for you. Especially I will not die for you. I will not mourn the dead with murder nor suicide. I will not side with you nor dance to bombs because everyone else is dancing. Everyone can be wrong. Life is a right not collateral or casual. I will not forget where I come from. I will craft my own drum. Gather my beloved near and our chanting will be dancing. Our humming will be drumming. I will not be played. I will not lend my name nor my rhythm to your beat. I will dance and resist and dance and persist and dance. This heartbeat is louder than death. Your war drum ain't louder than this breath. An author's tone in any piece of prose or poetry can affect the reader's outlook on the overall message of the work. The tone of "What I Will" suggests resistance to a person, group of people, or an underlying force. The speaker seems determined to go against what the greater force wants her to do. Moreover, the tone also suggests and essence of non-conformity and perseverance the speaker upholds. This reveals the speakers strength to hold her own while society wants her to conform to their beliefs and motives. Additionally, he speaker's diction reflects her attitude towards the force she is resisting. For example, she uses the phrases "I will," and "I will not" to

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