Nikki Giovanni

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What are some examples of affection in Nikki Giovanni's "Mothers" poem?

Examples of affection in Nikki Giovanni's "Mothers" poem include the kisses and exchange of pleasantries in the second and third line. Later in the poem, the mother shows affection for her daughter by teaching her daughter a simple poem.

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The first indication of affection between the poet and her mother appears in the second line and third line, where we are told that the last time she went to visit her mother, the two "kissed" and "exchanged pleasantries." Even though this exchange of pleasantries was followed by an exchange of "unpleasantries," we are told that the silence which followed, as the two both read their books, was "warm" and "comforting". This speaks of a family relationship that, while not without its troubles, is not void of affection.

The poem then flashes back to a much earlier time, when the poet recalls "consciously" seeing her mother for the first time. We know that the speaker in the second part of this poem is a small child because she recalls one of the possible reasons of her getting up in the night was that she may have wet the bed.

There is another great example of affection here, as while her mother was not expecting to find her daughter out of bed at that time of night, she invited her to come and join her, and taught her the words to a simple poem. This is in spite of the fact that the poet acknowledges that her mother was waiting "very deliberately" for something. Even if the poet was not entirely certain what or who her mother was waiting for, the fact that her mother abandoned her vigil to teach her a poem shows affection.

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