English Essay "We Are Virginia Tech"

1682 Words Feb 4th, 2013 7 Pages
“We Are Virginia Tech”

Speaking is form of art that can either be a natural gift or a practiced talent. Much like there are several different ways a person can draw: cartooning, free hand, or realistic, there are many ways in which a person can speak. Nikki Giovanni’s speech “We Are Virginia Tech” makes people cry, rejoice, and move on. A speech is one form of art that can evoke these types of emotions from people. In Nikki Giovanni’s poem “We Are Virginia Tech,” which was spoken at a memorial ceremony for Virginia Tech shooting victims, she uses her tone and a repetition of words to make her speech very powerful. The tone of her voice is very distinct, she speaks with poise and confidence, while remaining remorseful but positive
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People in the audience who lost close loved ones in this disaster may not think the other worldly tragedies Giovanni describes are of the same magnitude as this. For others though these images she gives may help them connect with the loss some are experiencing. Speeches can affect people in different ways, some speeches will inspire you, others will make you reflect on your own life, some will teach you a life lesson, but Nikki Giovanni’s poem was meant to bring together a group of disheartened people. Giovanni’s speech did not affect me as intensely as it did to the families of the victims who actually saw her give the speech. Similar to whether you are seeing a photo of a piece of artwork or seeing it in person, seeing or hearing a recording of a speech it will affect you differently. Sontag says, “real art has the capacity to make us nervous” (Sontag 759). This speech is meant to bring out the sadness, but also the hope for a better future that people are feeling. Preston Risser said, “her poem brought out the hurt people were feeling and brought awareness to the situation at hand.” As seen in the video people are either crying after she is finished, or standing up with a newfound inspiration to stand tall and put this tragedy in the past. The way a piece of art might make you feel does not have to be displayed by some physical expression, it can be an emotion that is kept inside. In relation to how Nikki…