Maya Angelou The Person And The Poet

1007 words - 5 pages

Maya Angelou is a very triumphant woman. She has written many
books and poems that have given her great success. If one would talk
to her, he or she would think she has lead a normal, happy life. Her
life is blissful now, but it wasnt always perfect. Maya Angelous
sorrowful life experiences inspired her to write autobiographical
works of poetry.

Maya Angelou was born April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson in St.
Louis. She was raised in segregated rural Arkansas. She came from a
broken home. Angelou was raped at eight, and was an unwed mother at 16
years old (Williams 1). In spite of her tragic childhood, she still
managed to become one of the greatest black ...view middle of the document...

And many of her poems can inspire people today.
Knowing something about Angelous life can help one to understand her
poetry.

In one of Angelous poems, Unmeasured Tempo, she talks about a
persons life. How mind and body do not reach their apex at the same
time. By the time a person gets old enough to have a spiritual
realization of who they are their body is already declining (Angelou
11). This poem is written in blank verse. It does not have any rhyme
or rhythm. Yet it does use figurative language. For example, the
simile, Dreams are petted like cherished lap dogs. This poem is
complex and makes the reader look for the deeper meaning in the poem
(Angelou 11).

Another one of Angelous poems is Little Girl Speakings where
she once again writes autobiographically. Its a comparative poem
about the things important to Angelou in her childhood. She is
explaining to one of her peers that she has the best parents and the
best toys(Angelou 65). There are a lot of literary devices used in
this poem. The two most obvious ones are slang and repetition. The
phrases Aint nobody betters my daddy, Aint nothing prettiern my
dollie, and No lady cookinger than my mommy are repeated in this
poem (Angelou 65). The rhyme scheme, ABBA, is simple yet unusual.
There are many words that rhyme like quauter and daughter, said and
head, and pie and lie (Angelou 65).

A third and final poem of Angelous is Avec Merci, Mother
(avec means with in French). This poem uses very simple language,
but it is very complicated. The subject seems to change in the middle
of the poem. She first talks about her mother being this perfect
beauty who was polite and adored. And then it talks about a person
who catches her eyes who seems to be her son and then she associates
him with his father. This poem is one of Angelous more difficult
works to understand (Angelou 18). This poem doesnt have a lot of
literary devices. The rhyme scheme of this poem is ABABCDED. Angelou
uses literary devises like similes in the phrase,...

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