Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Maya Angelou




In all the hubbub of Easter, I didn’t check my email for a good 3 days. Oh the dreaded email backlog!

Well, one piece of email wasn’t lousy and I am sorry I missed it. This message was from the Writer’s Almanac. It is a quaint little piece put out by NPR and Garrison Keillor with a daily poem and some interesting facts about authors. http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/

April 4th was not only Easter but is also the birthday of one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Actually, she is a favorite of all the Perrin girls. We studied her in poetry last year and Maeve and Hilde loved her. She is probably my favorite modern, women poet. I do realize she is the only modern, woman poet some of you know. I also realize that some of you only know her because she is Oprah’s friend. All I can say is shame on you-read more poetry, Maya Angelou is worth knowing.


Anyway, as a belated Happy Birthday Maya, here are some of our favorites. Enjoy!


Alone
by Maya Angelou


Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Here’s another:


Phenomenal Woman


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 in 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.


Here is one more, because it’s my blog and you should read more poetry.


Touched by an Angel


We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be. Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

2 comments:

  1. You're so right. I do need to read more poetry. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete