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Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

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From her reflections on African American life and hardship in Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise, and her elegant tributes to dignitaries Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela (On the Pulse of Morning and His Day Is Done, respectively), every inspiring word of Maya Angelou's poetry From her reflections on African American life and hardship in Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise, and her elegant tributes to dignitaries Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela (On the Pulse of Morning and His Day Is Done, respectively), every inspiring word of Maya Angelou's poetry is included in the pages of this volume.


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From her reflections on African American life and hardship in Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise, and her elegant tributes to dignitaries Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela (On the Pulse of Morning and His Day Is Done, respectively), every inspiring word of Maya Angelou's poetry From her reflections on African American life and hardship in Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise, and her elegant tributes to dignitaries Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela (On the Pulse of Morning and His Day Is Done, respectively), every inspiring word of Maya Angelou's poetry is included in the pages of this volume.

30 review for Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hirdesh

    Lovely poetry. I've just loved throughout all poems encrypted so greatly with deep emotions. An incredible piece of poems. What a catastrophic selection of words. Some Good lines- "I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike" "I note the obvious differences in the human family. Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy" "Life is too busy, wearying me. Questions and answers and heavy thought. I've subtracted and added and multiplied, and Lovely poetry. I've just loved throughout all poems encrypted so greatly with deep emotions. An incredible piece of poems. What a catastrophic selection of words. Some Good lines- "I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike" "I note the obvious differences in the human family. Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy" "Life is too busy, wearying me. Questions and answers and heavy thought. I've subtracted and added and multiplied, and all my figuring has come to naught. Today I'll give up living." "My life ain't heaven but it sure ain't hell. I'm not on top but I call it swell if I'm able to work and get paid right and have the luck to be Black on a Saturday night" "If they want to learn how to live life right, they ought to study me on Saturday night" "You said to lean on Your arm And I'm leaning You said to trust in Your love And I'm trusting You said to call on Your name And I'm calling I'm stepping out on Your word. You said You'd be my protection, My only and glorious saviour, My beautiful Rose of Sharon, And I'm stepping out on Your word. Your word. Joy Joy The wonderful word of the Son of God." "When you see me walking, stumbling, Don't study and get it wrong. 'Cause tired don't mean lazy And every goodbye ain't gone. I'm the same person I was back then, A little less hair, a little less chin, A lot less lungs and much less wind. But ain't I lucky I can still breathe in." "Black like the hour of the night When your love turns and wriggles close to your side Black as the earth which has given birth To nations, and when all else is gone will abide" "Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide" "You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise" "When the sun rises I am the time. When the children sing I am the Rhyme." "Then you rose into my life Like a promised sunrise. Brightening my days with the light in your eyes. I've never been so strong, Now I'm where I belong" "Funky blues Keen toed shoes High water pants Saddy night dance Red soda water and anybody's daughter" "Thus she had lain sugarcane sweet deserts her hair golden her feet mountains her breasts two Niles her tears. Thus she has lain Black through the years." "Suits on Me All the people out of work, Hold for three, then twist and jerk. Cross the line, they count you out. That's what hopping's all about. Both feet flat, the game is done. They think I lost. I think I won" "They'd nasty manners, held like banners, while they looked down their nose-wise. I'd see 'em in hell, before they'd sell me one thing they're wearing, clothes-wise." "What a pity that pity has folded in upon itself an old man's mouth whose teeth are gone and I have no pity." "Where touch to touch is feel And life a weary whore I would be carried off, not gently To a shore, Where love is the scream of anguish And no curtain drapes the door." "I lost a doll once and cried for a week. She could open her eyes, and do all but speak. I believe she was took, by some doll-snatching sneak. I tell you, I hate to lose something."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sookie

    Some of my favorite lines.. - Of all the beautiful words she has penned, I cannot get this out of my head. Dawn offers Innocence to a half-mad city. -This one is just... This bed yawns beneath the weight of our absent selves. -And then we have this: Make room for me to lead and follow you beyond this rage of poetry. The poems she writes on black violence and black history is poignant and gut wrenching. This is a fantastic collection with most of her popular works collected in one place.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anima

    Gentleness and roughness, beauty and ugliness, happiness and sorrow, brightness and darkness -what a bitter-sweet heart touching flow of words are all these poems! Remembering "Soft grey ghosts crawl up my sleeve to peer into my eyes while I within deny their threats and answer them with lies. Mushlike memories perform a ritual on my lips I lie in stolid hopelessness and they lay my soul in strips." Accident "Tonight when you spread your pallet of magic, I escaped. Sitting apart, I saw you grim an Gentleness and roughness, beauty and ugliness, happiness and sorrow, brightness and darkness -what a bitter-sweet heart touching flow of words are all these poems! Remembering "Soft grey ghosts crawl up my sleeve to peer into my eyes while I within deny their threats and answer them with lies. Mushlike memories perform a ritual on my lips I lie in stolid hopelessness and they lay my soul in strips." Accident "Tonight when you spread your pallet of magic, I escaped. Sitting apart, I saw you grim and unkempt. Your vulgarness not of living, your demands not from need. Tonight as you sprinkled your brain- dust of rainbows, I had no eyes. Seeing all I saw the colors fade and change. The blood, red dulled through the dyes, and the naked Black-White truth."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Maya Angelou's presence overpowers her writing for me. I've only seen a handful of film interviews and readings, but her voice, delivery, and sheer persona are electric. Thus, having the words stripped of this physical presence felt a bit like a letdown. You can't really hold that against a writer. This is a lot of poetry packed in to one volume and it felt like the quantity watered down the quality of more than a handful of true gems (which probably could be said of mostly any large "complete" Maya Angelou's presence overpowers her writing for me. I've only seen a handful of film interviews and readings, but her voice, delivery, and sheer persona are electric. Thus, having the words stripped of this physical presence felt a bit like a letdown. You can't really hold that against a writer. This is a lot of poetry packed in to one volume and it felt like the quantity watered down the quality of more than a handful of true gems (which probably could be said of mostly any large "complete" collection of a poet). The rhythm and subject matter of her writing appealed most to me--there's a kind of tireless fight for the freedom of the spirit, equality, and the recognition of individual humanity and dignity. She was a writer who knew the kind of world she wanted to fashion with her words and believed those words could make a better world. And this volume lets you see that world through the eyes of a young, passionate woman on through to the wise, American elder she became. A few favorites: "London" (I couldn't find an online version to copy and paste or link to.) ---------------------------------- Maya Angelou performing "The Mask" (I don't believe this one is actually in the book.) ---------------------------------- Some Kind of love, Some Say Is it true the ribs can tell The kick of a beast from a Lover’s fist? The bruised Bones recorded well The sudden shock, the Hard impact. Then swollen lids, Sorry eyes, spoke not Of lost romance, but hurt. Hate often is confused. Its Limits are in zones beyond itself. And Sadists will not learn that Love, by nature, exacts a pain Unequalled on the rack. ---------------------------------- Human Family I note the obvious differences in the human family. Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy. Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity, and others claim they really live the real reality. The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight, brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white. I've sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land, I've seen the wonders of the world not yet one common man. I know ten thousand women called Jane and Mary Jane, but I've not seen any two who really were the same. Mirror twins are different although their features jibe, and lovers think quite different thoughts while lying side by side. We love and lose in China, we weep on England's moors, and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores. We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, in major we're the same. I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Although I have read many, if not all her prose autobiographies, I discovered through this poetry that I did not know Maya Angelou at all. She was far more passionate, sensual and angry than I expected. Some poems were marvelous some I really did not understand and it was an education to read them all.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cass ☘

    It's Maya, so anything less than 5 stars would be ridiculous, in my opinion. This is a woman who helped me overcome an abusive childhood. Her poetry, her words are heart rendering, sad, beautiful, empowering, strong and well, if her words could sing, they would sing the prettiest song. A necessity to have in any home library, for those who love thoughtful introspective poetry. You'll find "Phenomenal Woman", "And Still I Rise" and my personal favorite, "In and Out of Time". I think about Maya eve It's Maya, so anything less than 5 stars would be ridiculous, in my opinion. This is a woman who helped me overcome an abusive childhood. Her poetry, her words are heart rendering, sad, beautiful, empowering, strong and well, if her words could sing, they would sing the prettiest song. A necessity to have in any home library, for those who love thoughtful introspective poetry. You'll find "Phenomenal Woman", "And Still I Rise" and my personal favorite, "In and Out of Time". I think about Maya everyday, she's been a huge inspiration and am thrilled to have this book among her others in my collection.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Asmaa

    Extraordinary

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    In an ongoing effort to decenter whiteness, I have been attempting to read more authors of color, and specifically, more women of color. This was my first real foray into Maya Angelou, and I read the complete works cover to cover.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matt Garcia

    Amazing and moving poetry collection by a phenomenal woman.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nada

    Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry is the totality of Maya Angelou's published poetry (no less than 180 poem) gathered in one outstanding collection. The beautiful thing about Maya's poetry is how one can really hear soulful melody within the words, the rhythm is poignant and warm. She deals with emotion with fluently and uncommon simplicity which is enjoyable specifically to poetry lovers but because many of her poems characterize as a song-like Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry could also be re Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry is the totality of Maya Angelou's published poetry (no less than 180 poem) gathered in one outstanding collection. The beautiful thing about Maya's poetry is how one can really hear soulful melody within the words, the rhythm is poignant and warm. She deals with emotion with fluently and uncommon simplicity which is enjoyable specifically to poetry lovers but because many of her poems characterize as a song-like Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry could also be read by almost anybody who appreciates beautiful sounding words. Personally, I'm always overwhelmed by Maya Angelou herself more than anything; she breathes life into all and everything, the intensity of her phrasing and her rhythmic presence which a lot of times undermine or perhaps overpower her works when not delivered by her personally and that is why it's best to watch/hear her deliver these poems to enhance the enjoyment. What I, also, like to do is read then re-read her poems to find hiding meaning in her words which there are plenty; the game of finding alternative/hidden meanings is a delight. My one complaint would be if only “We Had Him” were included in this collection of gems. Maya touched my very soul with that heartfelt poem she wrote for Michael Jackson, and I so wished it was within the pages of this book. All in all, powerful and unfeigned. Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry is a necessity to any reader's bookshelf.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    ON REACHING FORTY Maya Angelou Other acquainted years sidle with modest decorum across the scrim of toughened tears and to a stage planked with laughter boards and waxed with rueful loss But forty with the authorized brazenness of a uniformed cop stomps no-knocking into the script bumps a funky grind on the shabby curtain of youth and delays the actions. Unless you have the inborn wisdom and grace and are clever enough to die at thirty-nine. ......................................... PHENOMENAL WOMAN Maya Angelou Pretty wo ON REACHING FORTY Maya Angelou Other acquainted years sidle with modest decorum across the scrim of toughened tears and to a stage planked with laughter boards and waxed with rueful loss But forty with the authorized brazenness of a uniformed cop stomps no-knocking into the script bumps a funky grind on the shabby curtain of youth and delays the actions. Unless you have the inborn wisdom and grace and are clever enough to die at thirty-nine. ......................................... PHENOMENAL WOMAN Maya Angelou Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can't touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can't see. I say, It's the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed. I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care. 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    About: The Complete Poetry of Maya Angelou contains all of Maya Angelou’s poems, which were written between 1971 and 2014. Her poetry celebrates womanhood, reflects on being African American, explores the ups and downs of love and shares the beautiful connection we all have as human beings. Did I Like It?: Yes I did. As with a lot of poetry collections, the poems in here were hit and miss. There were a lot that I really liked though. Maya Angelou’s poetry is passionate and innately human and I rea About: The Complete Poetry of Maya Angelou contains all of Maya Angelou’s poems, which were written between 1971 and 2014. Her poetry celebrates womanhood, reflects on being African American, explores the ups and downs of love and shares the beautiful connection we all have as human beings. Did I Like It?: Yes I did. As with a lot of poetry collections, the poems in here were hit and miss. There were a lot that I really liked though. Maya Angelou’s poetry is passionate and innately human and I really connected with quite a few poems. Favorite Poems: My absolute favorite poems in this collection were Still I Rise, Africa, Phenomenal Woman, Caged Bird and A Brave and Startling Truth. Some others I really liked were Amazing Peace, The New House, Human Family, Wonder, The Telephone, Late October, and The Gamut. Do I Recommend It?: Yes, if you are a fan of poetry or of Maya Angelou you would probably find something to enjoy in this collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roger DeBlanck

    Maya Angelou’s The Complete Poetry is a volume to savor and cherish. The only reason I opt with four stars instead of five is that as much as I admire Angelou’s work, she ranks just below the pantheon of my favorite poets who include Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Wislawa Szymborska, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, and Sharon Olds. With that said, Angelou is a fine poet. She is an astute observer of society with an attentiveness to the injustices and unrest of history. She addresses th Maya Angelou’s The Complete Poetry is a volume to savor and cherish. The only reason I opt with four stars instead of five is that as much as I admire Angelou’s work, she ranks just below the pantheon of my favorite poets who include Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Wislawa Szymborska, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, and Sharon Olds. With that said, Angelou is a fine poet. She is an astute observer of society with an attentiveness to the injustices and unrest of history. She addresses the struggles of being a woman and celebrates its joys. She is, above all, a witness who confronts the hardships of life with fortitude and grace. Even through pain, anger, and frustration, her hope and faith remain strong. Here is a snippet of a few of her verses that I highlighted: She says in “My Guilt" that “My crime is I’m alive to tell.” And in the last line of the poem she admits, “My sin lies in not screaming loud.” She observes in “On Working White Liberals” that “. . . I’ll believe in Liberals’ aid for us / When I see a white man load a Black man’s gun.” She personifies the country in “America” and says, “Her proud declarations / are leaves on the wind[.]” The opening lines in “Woman Me” resonate with hope: “Your smile, delicate / rumor of peace.” She sees in “My Arkansas” how “The sullen earth / is much too / red for comfort.” She remembers in “A Georgia Song” that “Oh, the blood-red clay, / Wet still with ancient / Wrongs . . .”

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    So good. Because this covers a long career, it is possible to trace a growing sophistication, but even at the beginning there is so much of life, and it is a completeness of life. I know she experienced a lot herself, but it is clear that she also viewed the lives of others with great empathy. There is a lot of pain and sorrow and death, but there is also triumph, endurance, and laughter. The greatest find for me was On the Pulse of the Morning, which I had never read before. If it had been an a So good. Because this covers a long career, it is possible to trace a growing sophistication, but even at the beginning there is so much of life, and it is a completeness of life. I know she experienced a lot herself, but it is clear that she also viewed the lives of others with great empathy. There is a lot of pain and sorrow and death, but there is also triumph, endurance, and laughter. The greatest find for me was On the Pulse of the Morning, which I had never read before. If it had been an audio book of her reading, though, I can't help but think how I would have loved that, and how amazing it would be to hear her chosen rhythm for how some of those poems should go.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is a wonderful book, it contains all of her poetry in date order, very nicely printed in high quality hardcover that will withstand much use. There are no prefaces or remarks by others, just poetry on every page, which makes the book more powerful. Her mastery of the written word is astounding and beautiful. This is a book I will keep and return to often. Please enter in the poetry challenge.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I couldn't tell fact from fiction or if my dream was true, The only sure prediction In this whole world was you. I'd touched your features inchly, hard love and dared the cost. The scented spiel reeled me unreal and found my senses lost. -Senses of Insecurity Beautiful poetry. a bit too dark at times for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alice Rachel

    LOVED it all. Especially the poem about Nelson Mandala. It almost made me cry. ❤❤ LOVED it all. Especially the poem about Nelson Mandala. It almost made me cry. ❤️❤️

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shanell Maggitt

    Wow, I resonated a lot with her love poems. I enjoyed her take on Blackness and America and wish I didn't wait so long to dive into her work but am excited to read more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rogene Carter

    Magnificent.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Perry

    Marked as DNF on page 68

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nani

    How do people even choose their favorite poem????? Phenomenal Woman Still I Rise Poor Girl Through the Inner City to the Suburbs America To A Freedom Fighter The Telephone Now Long Ago Alone The Thirteens (Black) The Thirteens (White) Where We Belong, A Duet Caged Bird basically every single damn poem in this book. I love it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I was surprised I didn't like her poetry more! There were a few in this collection that had language that tugged at my sleeve, but most of it didn't catch my attention. I'm not a fan of rhyming and singsong cadence in poetry, and that ruled out quite a bit of this collection.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This posthumous collection gathers together 180 poems of Maya Angelou. A collection of collections, it amasses six of Angelou’s collections as well as four stand-alone poems, and is said to represent the entirety of Angelou’s published and publicly-released poetry. (Actually, it’s said be all of her poetry, but I suspect even a poetic genius like Angelou had notebooks of fragments and pieces with which she never made peace.) Her famed collections: “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diii This posthumous collection gathers together 180 poems of Maya Angelou. A collection of collections, it amasses six of Angelou’s collections as well as four stand-alone poems, and is said to represent the entirety of Angelou’s published and publicly-released poetry. (Actually, it’s said be all of her poetry, but I suspect even a poetic genius like Angelou had notebooks of fragments and pieces with which she never made peace.) Her famed collections: “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie,” “Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well,” “And Still I Rise,” “Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing,” and “I Shall Not Be Moved” are presented as released. Angelou’s poetry tends toward the playful and melodious even when its topics are angry or distressing. She favors short pieces that have rhyme and rhythm that please the ear—at least in those early collections for which she is most recognized. Reading the poetry chronologically, I noticed a shift toward a little bit longer free verse poetry—though always with attention to the issue of sound (if not to creating song-like sound.) As this was my first reading of this collection, some of this perception of shifting length and style may be an illusion created by the fact that the freestanding pieces are toward the end, and they tend to have been released for special occasions that called for longer runtimes. But maybe she felt that poems of dissent and social commentary ultimately called for a more discordant quality. Delivering a jeremiad with pop tune catchiness can feel as though it undermines the message—though it also makes a commentary about the nature of being underdog. I don’t want to suggest that Angelou’s work doesn’t capture the happy and hopeful as well as the daunting, because it is. But poets deal in emotion, and that means confronting dark topics such as slavery, racism, domestic violence, etc. Her use of dialect language breathes authenticity into her poems and builds the emotional weight of them, which often supports the song-like quality. And there is plenty of precedent in music for delivering hard material in a melodious package. I’d recommend this collection to poetry readers. It’s powerful and poignant, and makes a beautiful sound.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    First poetry collection and also one of the first times reading poetry just for fun. Kinda didn't understand/connect with most of the earlier poems but I got more and more into it as the book went on. I was also reading this book for like over two months (since November...oh my). Found some favorite poems ("A Brave and Startling Truth", "Mother") and a collection (I Shall Not be Moved), and I was really intrigued by/could relate to a lot of her later poems. I like how poetry expresses a pure ide First poetry collection and also one of the first times reading poetry just for fun. Kinda didn't understand/connect with most of the earlier poems but I got more and more into it as the book went on. I was also reading this book for like over two months (since November...oh my). Found some favorite poems ("A Brave and Startling Truth", "Mother") and a collection (I Shall Not be Moved), and I was really intrigued by/could relate to a lot of her later poems. I like how poetry expresses a pure idea that's not part of a story (also love stories though). At times, wasn't really sure what Maya meant but it was still pretty and I think I'm getting a lot better at finding meanings in the poems. Will definitely be reading more poetry from now on.

  25. 4 out of 5

    S.A.M

    I enjoyed Angelou's works from the middle of the this collection the best. Her poems on religion and discrimination and the experiences of a black women. I like the simplicity and raw feeling of these poems, more mature than the earlier ones but also more real feeling, at least to me, than the later ones. Her poems on racism and the black experience had the most impact on me. Being Caucasian, there are a lot of things that I don't get about race, and just as many things that I might understand o I enjoyed Angelou's works from the middle of the this collection the best. Her poems on religion and discrimination and the experiences of a black women. I like the simplicity and raw feeling of these poems, more mature than the earlier ones but also more real feeling, at least to me, than the later ones. Her poems on racism and the black experience had the most impact on me. Being Caucasian, there are a lot of things that I don't get about race, and just as many things that I might understand on an intellectual level but not on an emotional. Angelou's poems helped me understand those experiences a bit more; not only the bad, but also the good.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Samuel McCann

    Maya Angelou's ability to use the English language to its fullest ability is on full display in her poems. I found myself rereading so many of these poems, again and again, wrapping my head around every word trying to appreciate the beauty with which she communicated the human experience. Every day I sat down to read some of her poems I knew that her poems would reach into my emotional core, extracting my joy, sorrow, anger, etc. Many times you're reading and just one innocuous word shakes the f Maya Angelou's ability to use the English language to its fullest ability is on full display in her poems. I found myself rereading so many of these poems, again and again, wrapping my head around every word trying to appreciate the beauty with which she communicated the human experience. Every day I sat down to read some of her poems I knew that her poems would reach into my emotional core, extracting my joy, sorrow, anger, etc. Many times you're reading and just one innocuous word shakes the foundation of what has come before revealing a pattern you missed. Her poetry is just beautiful and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Evers☯n

    There is no doubt that Maya Angelou is a talented writer, but I did not consider anything I read in this book to be poetic or 'poetry'! Stanza after stanza, carefully written, carefully edited, it all became one blur of thoughts on paper. In truth, I had to force myself to complete this book, but I did just that. And then, as per my usual habit, I let a week pass by. The world turned, the news was as horrible as it always is, but nothing in this book entered my mind even once. Try as I might, I There is no doubt that Maya Angelou is a talented writer, but I did not consider anything I read in this book to be poetic or 'poetry'! Stanza after stanza, carefully written, carefully edited, it all became one blur of thoughts on paper. In truth, I had to force myself to complete this book, but I did just that. And then, as per my usual habit, I let a week pass by. The world turned, the news was as horrible as it always is, but nothing in this book entered my mind even once. Try as I might, I could not remember just one of the poems I had read in this book. . . . That's my review!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ijeoma

    It is a privilege to read this book and I will cherish it forever. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest books that I have ever read. She's so talented. Her poems are so beautiful, intellectual, substantial, amazing, and extraordinary. In addition, she's black and she's proud, which I love. Her poems cover a wide range of topics and they are very rich. No matter what I write, I will never completely do this book justice. But know that it's way up there. I highly recommend this book to al It is a privilege to read this book and I will cherish it forever. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest books that I have ever read. She's so talented. Her poems are so beautiful, intellectual, substantial, amazing, and extraordinary. In addition, she's black and she's proud, which I love. Her poems cover a wide range of topics and they are very rich. No matter what I write, I will never completely do this book justice. But know that it's way up there. I highly recommend this book to all.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fallon

    Some of my favorite poems of all time are here. “Phenomenal Woman” and “Still I Rise” have been copied into my journals since I was a teenager. This book is not normally one I’d read in one sitting, but this week I’m taking part in a readathon and I just couldn’t stop reading. Normally, I’ll read a poem or two at a time, usually with my journal nearby so I can write down whatever poem is coming into my head.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcelo Gonzalez

    I'm in the minority, but her poetry didn't speak to me. Which is fine, because I recognize that there are many for whom her poetry does speak. Poetry might be the most subjective literary art. There were certain poems that I absolutely loved, but as a whole, I felt like there was a good deal of filler in her collections, which detracted from my interest.

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