Words Dana Gioia Analysis

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We put such an emphasis on words, but words are just descriptions used to sort and categorize not only the objects they describe but the people that use them. Gioia expands on this sentiment in her poem, “Words” to show that not only is our attention to vocabulary unwarranted but inferior to the unspoken forms of beauty. Ironically, however, she must use the very object of her criticism to display her feelings. The evidence of prejudices born from words can be seen in any society and has existed for generations. People use unnecessarily large words to appear educated and people with certain variances in their pronunciation are scolded by polite society. These animosities are both ridiculous and destructive not only because they create class conflict but because they give the power to separate people by class in the first place.…show more content…
The world, when verbs and nouns are removed, can “articulate itself / in sunlight, leaves, and shadows,” (2) and the stones of the Earth are “no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted” (3). But despite Gioia’s praise of the natural world and nature’s beauty, she can only visualize it within the constraints of the English language. Constraints that can transform an object into something sinister, “something less or other” (6). Words like ‘illicit’ and ‘covert’ make the unassuming into something wrong. It’s the same sort of sentiment from Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, “that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” (Shakespeare II. II. 47-48). Words really only have as much power as we give them; unfortunately we impart quite a bit of power to

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