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Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water: 'Fore I Diiie: The Poetry of Maya Angelou. Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well

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People who participate in debates about poverty - and its causes and cures - often speak from religious conviction. But those underlying commitments brought to bear on specific policy choices.


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People who participate in debates about poverty - and its causes and cures - often speak from religious conviction. But those underlying commitments brought to bear on specific policy choices.

30 review for Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water: 'Fore I Diiie: The Poetry of Maya Angelou. Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicko

    Two of my fave. They speak for themselves. "When I Think About Myself" "When I think about myself, I almost laugh myself to death, My life has been one great big joke, A dance that's walked A song that's spoke I laugh so hard I almost choke, When I think about myself. Sixty years in these folks' world The child I works for calls me girl, I say "Yes Ma'am" for working's sake Too proud to bend, Too poor to break, I laugh until my stomach ache, When I think about myself. My folks can make me split my side, I laugh Two of my fave. They speak for themselves. "When I Think About Myself" "When I think about myself, I almost laugh myself to death, My life has been one great big joke, A dance that's walked A song that's spoke I laugh so hard I almost choke, When I think about myself. Sixty years in these folks' world The child I works for calls me girl, I say "Yes Ma'am" for working's sake Too proud to bend, Too poor to break, I laugh until my stomach ache, When I think about myself. My folks can make me split my side, I laughed so hard I nearly died, The tales they tell sound just like lying, They grow the fruit, But eat the rind, I laugh until I start to crying. When I think about my folks." ________________________________________________ No Loser, No Weeper "I hate to lose something," then she bent her head "even a dime, I wish I was dead. I can't explain it. No more to be said. Cept I hate to lose something." "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." "A watch of mine once, got up and walked alway. It had twelve numbers on it and for the time of day. I'll never forget it and all I can say Is I really hate to lose something." "Now if I felt that way bout a watch and a toy, What you think I feel bout my lover-boy? I ain't threatening you madam, but he is my evening's joy. And I mean I really hate to lose something." By Maya Angelou

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ciji Ann Heiser

    I read this book in one sitting one poem above all others gave me pause and was my favorite. On Working White Liberals I don’t ask the Foreign Legion Or anyone to win my freedom Or to fight my battles better than I can, Though there’s one thing that I can cry for I believe enough to die for That is every man’s responsibility to man. I’m afraid they’ll have to prove first That they’ll watch the Black man move first Then follow him with faith to kingdom come. This rocky road is not paved for us, So, I’ll b I read this book in one sitting one poem above all others gave me pause and was my favorite. On Working White Liberals I don’t ask the Foreign Legion Or anyone to win my freedom Or to fight my battles better than I can, Though there’s one thing that I can cry for I believe enough to die for That is every man’s responsibility to man. I’m afraid they’ll have to prove first That they’ll watch the Black man move first Then follow him with faith to kingdom come. This rocky road is not paved for us, So, I’ll believe in Liberal’s aid for us When I see a white man load a Black man’s gun.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Agbonmire

    I love Maya's poetry. I have ignored her works for so long. In my book hunting days I would always see slim second hand copies of her books under the bridges in Lagos. There were in great abundance. I always bought them and never read them. After her passing I have been reading lots of her and she is so wise and accessible. These are my favourite poems in this collection. "When I Think About Myself" "When I think about myself, I almost laugh myself to death, My life has been one great big joke, A da I love Maya's poetry. I have ignored her works for so long. In my book hunting days I would always see slim second hand copies of her books under the bridges in Lagos. There were in great abundance. I always bought them and never read them. After her passing I have been reading lots of her and she is so wise and accessible. These are my favourite poems in this collection. "When I Think About Myself" "When I think about myself, I almost laugh myself to death, My life has been one great big joke, A dance that's walked A song that's spoke I laugh so hard I almost choke, When I think about myself. Sixty years in these folks' world The child I works for calls me girl, I say "Yes Ma'am" for working's sake Too proud to bend, Too poor to break, I laugh until my stomach ache, When I think about myself. My folks can make me split my side, I laughed so hard I nearly died, The tales they tell sound just like lying, They grow the fruit, But eat the rind, I laugh until I start to crying. When I think about my folks." ________________________________________________ No Loser, No Weeper "I hate to lose something," then she bent her head "even a dime, I wish I was dead. I can't explain it. No more to be said. Cept I hate to lose something." "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." "A watch of mine once, got up and walked alway. It had twelve numbers on it and for the time of day. I'll never forget it and all I can say Is I really hate to lose something." "Now if I felt that way bout a watch and a toy, What you think I feel bout my lover-boy? I ain't threatening you madam, but he is my evening's joy. And I mean I really hate to lose something." By Maya Angelou

  4. 5 out of 5

    J

    I swing back and forth between a 3.5 and 4 for this one. I have never read any of Maya Angelou’s poetry before, so it was interesting to dive into her first collection. I wasn’t expecting there to be so much rhyming in her poems, and I admit that I didn’t like it at first. It made a world of difference when I started reading them aloud though, because the influences of jazz and the blues became apparent. Quite a few of these poems followed similar themes and structures as the musics. These poems—p I swing back and forth between a 3.5 and 4 for this one. I have never read any of Maya Angelou’s poetry before, so it was interesting to dive into her first collection. I wasn’t expecting there to be so much rhyming in her poems, and I admit that I didn’t like it at first. It made a world of difference when I started reading them aloud though, because the influences of jazz and the blues became apparent. Quite a few of these poems followed similar themes and structures as the musics. These poems—primarily the second section—were consumed with anger, which I don’t think is a bad thing at all. You can hear the grief and frustrations that Angelou had inside of her, which is understandable considering her childhood and the treatment of Black Americans in the United States at the time and still to this day (ugh). What really stood out to me was how she code-switched in quite a few of her poems, displaying the diversity in language that interlocked with her social commentary on American society and the injustices that Black Americans faced and still face. Some of her poems were graphic in detail. She was very upfront about the violence against Black Americans; fragments of slavery, lynching, among others scattered about the collection. She also didn’t shy away from sexual abuse/violence in her poems. I wouldn’t say that they were in-your-face, but they stood out with justified anger lacing these lines. I would be curious to read her other poetry collections to see how they compare and if anything changed. While not my favorite poetry collection, I enjoyed the way she tackled certain subjects in such an unapologetic manner. A few poems that stood stood out to me were: “Late October,” “Mourning Grace,” “When I Think About Myself,” “Black Ode,” and “On Working White Liberals.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Not what I was expecting. Maybe a lot of this went over my head because I’m not of African decent, while I picked up on the victim of sexual abuse stuff loud and clear. Definitely an interesting read for somebody newly interested in poetry during Black History Month.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Mousseau

    Carefully the leaves of autumn sprinkle down the tinny sound of little dyings and skies sated of ruddy sunsets of roseate dawns roil ceaselessly in cobweb greys and turn to black for comfort. Only lovers see the fall a signal end to endings a gruffish gesture alerting those who will not be alarmed that we begin to stop in order simply to begin again. - Late October, pg. 7 * * * Tears The crystal rags Viscous tatters of a worn-through soul Moans Deep swan song Blue farewell of a dying dream. - Tears, pg. 12 * * * now thread my Carefully the leaves of autumn sprinkle down the tinny sound of little dyings and skies sated of ruddy sunsets of roseate dawns roil ceaselessly in cobweb greys and turn to black for comfort. Only lovers see the fall a signal end to endings a gruffish gesture alerting those who will not be alarmed that we begin to stop in order simply to begin again. - Late October, pg. 7 * * * Tears The crystal rags Viscous tatters of a worn-through soul Moans Deep swan song Blue farewell of a dying dream. - Tears, pg. 12 * * * now thread my voice with lies of lightness force within my mirror eyes the cold disguise of sad and wise decisions. - How I Can Lie to You, pg. 21 * * * You drink a bitter draught. I sip the tears your eyes fight to hold A cup of lees, of henbane steeped in chaff. Your breast is hot, Your anger black and cold, Through evening's rest, you dream I hear the moans, you die a thousands' death. When can straps flog the body dark and lean, you feel the blow, I hear it in your breath. - To a Freedom Fighter, pg. 33

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andy Hickman

    May Angelou's "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie" is a collection of her abstract poetry addressing oppression of blacks and sexual exploitation. Courageous, creative, raw, honest and searing. My personal favorites are 'Tears,' 'When I Think About Myself,' and 'To a Freedom Fighter.' - Andy May Angelou's "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie" is a collection of her abstract poetry addressing oppression of blacks and sexual exploitation. Courageous, creative, raw, honest and searing. My personal favorites are 'Tears,' 'When I Think About Myself,' and 'To a Freedom Fighter.' - Andy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Magen

    I don't know how to rate this collection as I'm pretty sure I'm not grasping the full depth of these poems, especially in the second part of the collection. I read an analysis of the collection which states that Angelou uses references to Black language and culture that isn't common knowledge to whites. I do feel I understood most of the gist of the poem, but I feel I missed that subtlety that feel the full impact of these poems and see them as powerful as those in And Still I Rise. Finished on 4 I don't know how to rate this collection as I'm pretty sure I'm not grasping the full depth of these poems, especially in the second part of the collection. I read an analysis of the collection which states that Angelou uses references to Black language and culture that isn't common knowledge to whites. I do feel I understood most of the gist of the poem, but I feel I missed that subtlety that feel the full impact of these poems and see them as powerful as those in And Still I Rise. Finished on 4/27/21

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    I find myself unable to rate poetry♥️

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brishti

    SO good

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara Jama

    Beautiful 🤎

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen Burnell

    About the author Dr Maya Angelou was one of the worlds 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 and civil right’s activist. Blurb on the back From this bestselling author comes a marvelous collection of poetry. Poems of love and regret, songs of the people and songs of the heart- all are charged with Maya Angelou’s zest for life and her rage at inj About the author Dr Maya Angelou was one of the worlds 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 and civil right’s activist. Blurb on the back From this bestselling author comes a marvelous collection of poetry. Poems of love and regret, songs of the people and songs of the heart- all are charged with Maya Angelou’s zest for life and her rage at injustice. Lyrical, tender poems of longing, wry glances at betrayal and isolation combine with a fierce insight into ‘hate and hateful wrath’ in an unforgettable picture of the hopes and concerns of one of America’s finest contemporary writer. Good bit about the book I could wax lyrical about this book forever but I will try and keep it short! Maya writes the kind of poems I love and fail to write myself to her perfection. Every word she rights is full of passion and meaning. She observes the world around her and her own experiences and writes them so any one can understand. You do not have to be an avid reader of poetry to appreciate and enjoy what she writes. I may not be black or American but the pain, ignorance and pure evil that was done is plain to see and feel for the reader to. Bad bits about the book I have nothing to put here other than it was far to short! Rating for book Five out of five stars. Possibly my favorite poet ever.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    I read 'And Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou last year (and I think a couple of poems from this collection are in that too, but my memory is not what it was.) She knows how to write. She gets you to feel. She gets you to think and she gets you to understand - if you have that compacity within you. I like to think I have. Perhaps I am over-estimating myself. But this is packed full of good poetry. "So, I'll believe in Liberal's aid for us When I see a white man load a black man's gun." (from 'On Working I read 'And Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou last year (and I think a couple of poems from this collection are in that too, but my memory is not what it was.) She knows how to write. She gets you to feel. She gets you to think and she gets you to understand - if you have that compacity within you. I like to think I have. Perhaps I am over-estimating myself. But this is packed full of good poetry. "So, I'll believe in Liberal's aid for us When I see a white man load a black man's gun." (from 'On Working White Liberals) The poems that touched me most from this collection - for whatever reasons- : They Went Home; Tears; No No No No; On Working White Liberals; Here's To Adhering; Come, And Be My Baby; Alone; Communications I; Africa; America; Lord, In My Heart; Prisoner and Song For The Old Ones. Lovely writing. I'm looking forward to reading more Angelou. Poetry and Prose.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ayla (I'm not here)

    No Loser, No Weeper "I hate to lose something," then she bent her head "even a dime, I wish I was dead. I can't explain it. No more to be said. Cept I hate to lose something." "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." "A watch of mine once, got up and walked alway. It had twelve numbers on it and for the time of day. I'll never forget it and all I can say Is I really ha No Loser, No Weeper "I hate to lose something," then she bent her head "even a dime, I wish I was dead. I can't explain it. No more to be said. Cept I hate to lose something." "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." "A watch of mine once, got up and walked alway. It had twelve numbers on it and for the time of day. I'll never forget it and all I can say Is I really hate to lose something." "Now if I felt that way bout a watch and a toy, What you think I feel bout my lover-boy? I ain't threatening you madam, but he is my evening's joy. And I mean I really hate to lose something." By Maya Angelou

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Maya Angelou is one of the most comforting, easy, lyrical voices in literature, and she does it in prose and in poetry with a beguiling simplicity. For all the grand personal sentiments of 21st century poetry, particularly poetry which addresses issues of gender, colour or class, it often lacks a sense of honesty that Angelou transports with her every word. I'm no expert on poetry, but it doesn't seem to me that she is naturally a great or complex writer; if you compare her to Seamus Heaney, Car Maya Angelou is one of the most comforting, easy, lyrical voices in literature, and she does it in prose and in poetry with a beguiling simplicity. For all the grand personal sentiments of 21st century poetry, particularly poetry which addresses issues of gender, colour or class, it often lacks a sense of honesty that Angelou transports with her every word. I'm no expert on poetry, but it doesn't seem to me that she is naturally a great or complex writer; if you compare her to Seamus Heaney, Carol Anne Duffy, Derek Walcott and their like, her poems don't resonate with the same depth. Neither does she have the immense emotional punch of great poetry of the repressed (Grace Nichols, Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath). She has something else, something hard to place, that makes her poems reach out to you and imagine with her what it's like to exist within those words. She manages the same trick in her autobiography and this ability to emote empathy is what sets her apart. On top of that Angelou is clearly a storyteller and stories resonate in her poetry. They are full of humour as well, a wry yet open hearted humour tinged with the hurt and the hardship of her stories. She can switch between serious and mocking in an instant; her sense of humour never stops these poems from being profound. They also have a satisfying dose of mystery and ambiguity, a sense of asking you to search for the story and the meaningwhile never losing their focus and directness. Opening with "They went home", for example, Angelou ends with the single word "But..." and leaves the story of a girl who bedazzles men unfinished and untold. They beg a second read and a moment to digest without ever feeling too heavy or opaque. In "The Gamut" Angelou tells a tale of a lover's grief, opening with the evocative lines "Soft you day, be velvet soft / My true love approaches" and concluding with the opposite "My true love is leaving". Much of the inbetween is left up to the reader to piece together with the aid of Angelou's sparse yet full-bodied language. Some personal highlights: "No Loser, No Weeper" is a threat with a punchline, a women staking her claim on a lover. It brings a smile to your face and demonstrates a feminine strength and autonomy, relegating the lover to the status of a physical possession. "How I Can Lie to You" is a fragile, short poem that lingers after you've read its 21 words - much of the trendy online Instagram poetry out there could look at Angelou's compact, meaningful constructions to see how to really capture sentiments in just a few words, without being trite, superficial or predictable. "When I Think About Myself" is one of the best in the collection. "My life has been one great big joke / A dance that's walked" with its awkward grammar belies a tenaciousness in its seemingly defeatist words. The longer religious flavoured story in "Miss Scarlett..." is another example of Angelou's ability to make ambiguous narratives very intriguing. "Riot: 60s" is even better, as the second half of the collection tells stories less personal, tackling issues of race in American society. It is a burning attack on racist institutions that unfortunately is still a hot topic today. Part 2 is generally even better than the first, although Angelou sacrifices a little of the lyricism and the personal feel for poems that writhe with anger and aggression. "Black Ode" and "No No No" are two of the best, in particular the fury that drives the longer, second of the two. "My Guilt" is a direct address to slavery - "dead Malcolm, Marcus, Martin King / They fought too hard, they loved too well / My crime is I'm alive to tell". Poems like "Sepia Fashion Show" and "Harlem Hopscotch" delve deeper in the imagery of black American life, the later ending the collection with the brilliant, lasting line "They think I lost / I think I won." Maya Angelou, again and again, wins you over with her carefully crafted and emotional use of language. At her best, it's as powerful a possession of black American autonomy as Alice Walker or Toni Morrison. And none of these poems have lost their relevance one bit. 8

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    No more the dream that you will cease haunting me down in fetid swamps of fear and will turn to embrace your own humanity which I AM "No No No No" I'm concerned I'm faulting this short collection by Maya Angelou because I do not believe it possesses the "Maya Angelou" I expected to find. Rather than a wise poet with an uncanny ability to articulate the frustrations and dashed expectations of existence, I find a vitriolic, vulgar writer. Granted, in the early 70s the race pot was boiling over and African No more the dream that you will cease haunting me down in fetid swamps of fear and will turn to embrace your own humanity which I AM "No No No No" I'm concerned I'm faulting this short collection by Maya Angelou because I do not believe it possesses the "Maya Angelou" I expected to find. Rather than a wise poet with an uncanny ability to articulate the frustrations and dashed expectations of existence, I find a vitriolic, vulgar writer. Granted, in the early 70s the race pot was boiling over and African Americans, many convinced the direct, militant actions of Malcolm X provided a better means to equality than the passive activism advocated by King, were no longer holding their vitriol back. While Angelou does a good job with "Miss Scarlett, Mr. Rhett and Other Latter-Day Saints," "To a Freedom Fighter," "We Saw Beyond Our Seeming," "My Guilt," and "The Calling of Names," the mean-spiritedness of "The Thirteens (White)" and portions of "No No No No" are incredibly vulgar and crass. The poem "No No No No" is uneven, shifting from incredible insights and word-play to incredibly insensitive portrayals of "the enemy." Granted, "the enemy" has participated in far-worse portrayals and activities, but I expected Angelou to rise to the occasion without resorting to the same sorry verbal tactics. In her more mature phase, she does--able to pinpoint how racist individuals and regimes are pathetic while showing how she is the "phenomenal woman." We're approaching that quality here, but we're not quite there. The volume is arranged in two parts: the first part deals with issues of abuse and love and the second part deals squarely with the social frustrations of being Black in America. The dichotomy between the two baffled me. I felt that suddenly someone changed the channel from a film about lost innocence and unrequited love to news coverage of race riots. It's a jarring transition. I will be reading Oh Pray My Wings are Gonna Fit Me Well, hoping to find Angelou in better form.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louisa

    I never read poetry of any kind and so my reviewing a book of poetry, especially by someone as respected and celebrated as Maya Angelou, feels quite redundant. I was given this book by someone I know, in a book exchange, so felt it would be interesting to see if I could decipher any meaning from these poems, as this is not something I would typically do. Surprisingly, I enjoyed a number of Maya’s poems, especially those from part two - ‘When I Think About Myself’ in particular, which I was drawn I never read poetry of any kind and so my reviewing a book of poetry, especially by someone as respected and celebrated as Maya Angelou, feels quite redundant. I was given this book by someone I know, in a book exchange, so felt it would be interesting to see if I could decipher any meaning from these poems, as this is not something I would typically do. Surprisingly, I enjoyed a number of Maya’s poems, especially those from part two - ‘When I Think About Myself’ in particular, which I was drawn to straight away. However, being fairly dense with poetry - some/most went quite over my head. Nonetheless, I can clearly see that this is a powerful and moving collection of poetry, especially when YouTubing Maya Angelou reciting them herself. This was my first time reading anything by Maya Angelou and I look forward to reading more of her poetry and her autobiographical works based on this initial introduction.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vincent de Paul

    Another of Maya Angelou's poetry on love, insight, tension, death, and on overcoming difficulties. On love, the book takes you through first love, passion, suspicion, and the loss of such love. There is also the issue of forgiveness in the love poems, especially maternal love where the Black mother loves and forgives her children unconditionally. She addresses emotional and sexual experience and romance with genius symbolism but you can feel it. The book also addresses racism and civil rights mo Another of Maya Angelou's poetry on love, insight, tension, death, and on overcoming difficulties. On love, the book takes you through first love, passion, suspicion, and the loss of such love. There is also the issue of forgiveness in the love poems, especially maternal love where the Black mother loves and forgives her children unconditionally. She addresses emotional and sexual experience and romance with genius symbolism but you can feel it. The book also addresses racism and civil rights movements with a coded language that only the target audience (blacks) would understand. Though a little difficult for me to read, I found the book to be a great black literature masterpiece addressing the challenges blacks have faced over the years.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    You really feel Maya Angelou's delight with language in her first poetry book, which relishes the rhyme in a variety of homemade structures. Split into two sections, this collection really takes off in the second half during which Angelou addresses the tragic side of America from a plethora of angles. The titles alone -- "Letter to an Aspiring Junkie," "Miss Scarlett, Mr. Rhett and Other Latter-Day Saints," "On Working White Liberals" -- give you a sense of her range. In a culture of lies, Angel You really feel Maya Angelou's delight with language in her first poetry book, which relishes the rhyme in a variety of homemade structures. Split into two sections, this collection really takes off in the second half during which Angelou addresses the tragic side of America from a plethora of angles. The titles alone -- "Letter to an Aspiring Junkie," "Miss Scarlett, Mr. Rhett and Other Latter-Day Saints," "On Working White Liberals" -- give you a sense of her range. In a culture of lies, Angelou's "write what you see" approach is revolutionary.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Ryan

    okay to be honest, i was looking for poetry books like maybe an hour ago at the library and I see Maya Angelou and at first I was like oh maybe I shouldn't read it but I am so glad I picked it up, This is a book about black struggles in America, I believe written in the 1960's it gives readers a good look that are unknown (like myself) how it is to be a black women in America. However, not all of the poems are completely about that most are about motherhood, and relationships - which I so dearly okay to be honest, i was looking for poetry books like maybe an hour ago at the library and I see Maya Angelou and at first I was like oh maybe I shouldn't read it but I am so glad I picked it up, This is a book about black struggles in America, I believe written in the 1960's it gives readers a good look that are unknown (like myself) how it is to be a black women in America. However, not all of the poems are completely about that most are about motherhood, and relationships - which I so dearly appreciate.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fallon

    #biannualbiblliothon #readabookmentionedinanotherpieceofmedia i sort of cheated with this challenge as the author herself-and not her work-is mentioned in Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. But I desperately missed reading her. Her work always wakes up my poet’s heart and inspires my pen. Rest in peace Phenomenal Woman, the world is better for having known you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    2TReads

    Poems on love, lust and life. Pain, truth, struggle and change. Maya Angelou expresses all, in this collection, in her voice of undeniable discernment and depth. I loved the rhythm of these poems, some flowing smooth as milk, others thick like honey, while others hit me like a brick. Brilliant societal commentary of her time in verse.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheri-lee

    I read this within “The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou”. I wish I could say I liked it more. It has a bit too much rhyme and meter for me. Somehow that kind of poetry feels forced or something. (Aside: it’s odd to me that once you have a book on your to read list, you can’t cancel it. All you can do it mark it as read).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bahora Saitova

    Poignant, powerful, painful at times, but always hopeful and full of wisdom imparted with wittiness and humor. Maya Angelou is a warm soul with a big heart and her courage and authenticity are unparalleled. She is not hiding or pretending, she is unapologetically herself and her vulnerability has such depth and strength, it moved me deeply.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Megan's Reads

    This is my first dabble with Maya Angelou, and I'm so excited to go back for more. These poems were enlightening, heartfelt, and left my awestruck several times. Angelou's precise use of diction, form, style, and voice created beautiful poems. I am a new fan! This is my first dabble with Maya Angelou, and I'm so excited to go back for more. These poems were enlightening, heartfelt, and left my awestruck several times. Angelou's precise use of diction, form, style, and voice created beautiful poems. I am a new fan!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Vaille

    I found some of these poems more accessible than others for me personally, but they were all very intriguing. This gave me a sort of introduction to the strong woman that Maya Angelou was. "Both feet flat, the game is done. They think I lost. I think I won." - Harlem Hopscotch I found some of these poems more accessible than others for me personally, but they were all very intriguing. This gave me a sort of introduction to the strong woman that Maya Angelou was. "Both feet flat, the game is done. They think I lost. I think I won." - Harlem Hopscotch

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    "Will I be less dead because I wrote this poem o more because you read it long years hence." - Wonder Eternal in her own words. This is a very good collection of poems from a great writer. "Will I be less dead because I wrote this poem o more because you read it long years hence." - Wonder Eternal in her own words. This is a very good collection of poems from a great writer.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Indi Lane

    Listing my favourites for personal reference: They Went Home No Loser, No Weeper When I Think About Myself To A Freedom Fighter We Saw Beyond Our Seeming On Working White Liberals Song For The Old Ones

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cord

    I liked the musical influence of so many of the poems (admittedly because it made things a smidge easier for a poetry novice like me to understand some structures and rhythm). Definitely felt like a good entry point into her poetry, and the themes of love and loss and oppression were keenly felt.

  30. 5 out of 5

    enyanyo

    There are some really powerful poems here like “My Guilt” and “We Saw Beyond Our Seeming”. Also, a few confusing ones that I may have to re-read a few times over (see, “The Thirteens (Black)” and “The Thirteens (White)”). The most relevant of all was “On Working White Liberals”.

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