Maya Angelou's poetry - lyrical and dramatic, exuberant and playful - speaks of love, longing, partings; of Saturday night partying, and the smells and sounds of Southern cities; of freedom and shattered dreams. 'The caged bird sings/ with a fearful trill/ of things unknown/ but longed for still/ and his tune is heard/ on the distant hill/ for the caged bird/ sings of freedom.' Of her poetry, KIRKUS REVIEWS has written, 'It is just as much a part of her biography as I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, GATHER TOGETHER in MY NAME, SINGIN' AND SWINGIN' AND GETTING MERRY LIKE CHRISTMAS, and HEART OF A WOMAN.
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(198mm x 133mm x 10mm)
Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
In her third volume of poems, Maya Angelou proves once again that audacity can pay off. Seemingly unafraid to approach anything, she includes comments on aging, the disappointments of love, anger at the abuse of black people, and the everyday aspects of womanhood. The moving spirit is summed up in the poem "Still I Rise" when she says "Does my sassiness upset you?/ Why are you beset with gloom?/ 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells/ Pumping in my living room . . ." The music of these lines is continued throughout the book: indeed Angelou's use of the refrain often serves to break up a poem when the tension grows overwhelming, as in "One More Round," an anti-slavery piece, where she punctuates illustrations of abuse with a chorus reminiscent of a work song: "One more round/ And let's heave it down. . . ." Angelou's most glaring weakness is a tendency towards obvious and rhetorical statement, as in "Ain't that Bad," which lists items commonly associated with blacks (Stevie Wonder, rice and beans, etc.) in a way that fails to dramatize any point. However, through her use of music and direct, uninhibited statement, she has written a distinctive and energetic volume. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Maya Angelou
Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world. She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.