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30 review for Maya Angelou: the complete poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Idk how to review this I just loved it

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan Wight

    By Maya Angelou I met a Lady Poet who took for inspiration colored birds, and whispered words, a lover’s hesitation. A falling leaf could stir her. A wilting, dying rose would make her write, both day and night, the most rewarding prose. She’d find a hidden meaning in every pair of pants, then hurry home to be alone and write about romance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Salazar

    Maya Angelou is a poet of her time, resonating with black women needing inspiration. There are a few poems (such as "Song for the Old Ones," "Still I Rise," and "Caged Bird") which will most likely be canonized. The other poems, however, aren't that great--the ones that mostly deal with relationships, God, and motherhood. Maya Angelou is a poet of her time, resonating with black women needing inspiration. There are a few poems (such as "Song for the Old Ones," "Still I Rise," and "Caged Bird") which will most likely be canonized. The other poems, however, aren't that great--the ones that mostly deal with relationships, God, and motherhood.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    ‘Still I Rise’ is the stand-out poem - interestingly, one of her few with any distinct form and shape.

  5. 4 out of 5

    elise

    Maya Angelou is such a good writer and poet; my mind is kind of blown actually.

  6. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Cowles

    3 1/4 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I’ve, sort of surprisingly, never dove into Angelou’s canon of work. In my efforts to read more from diverse writers (and just needing to read the legend), I came across this collection at my little free library. Angelou is incredible. Loved it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    These poems aged like fine wine. Everyone should read this at one point or another. An insight to what her and a numerous amount of others endured from the moment they were born until the day they took their last breath. On top of those powerfully aching insights, her voice for women throughout these poems are saddening yet encouraging.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lu

    I can't give a better rating because I didn't understand a lot of the poems or the words in them. These are the parts I liked: P26 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 work for calls me girl I say "Yes ma'am" for working's sake. Too proud to bend Too poor to break, I laugh u I can't give a better rating because I didn't understand a lot of the poems or the words in them. These are the parts I liked: P26 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 work 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. P32-33 Times square shoeshine composition I'm the best that ever done it (pow pow) that's my title and I won it (pow pow) I ain't lying, I'm the best (pow pow) Come and put me to the test (pow pow) I'll clean 'em til they squeak (pow pow) In the middle of next week, (pow pow) I'll shine 'em til they whine (pow pow) Till they call me master mine (pow pow) For a quarter and a dime (pow pow) You can get the dee luxe shine (pow pow) Say you wanta pay a quarter? (pow pow) Then you give that to your daughter (pow pow) I ain't playing dozens mister (pow pow) You can give it to your sister (pow pow) Any way you want to read it (pow pow) Maybe it's your momma need it (pow pow) Say I'm like a greedy bigot, (pow pow) I'm a cap'tilist, can you dig it? (pow pow) P34 Faces "Breathe, Brother and displaced a moment's hate with organized love." P40-43 No No No No "I've let your men cram my mouth with their black throbbing hate and I swallowed after" P44 My guilt "My sin is "hanging from a tree" I do not scream, it makes new proud. I take to dying like a man. I do it to impress the crowd. My sin lies in not screaming loud." P90 Chicken-Licken "Autopsy: read dead of acute peoplelessness." P104-106 Take time out "Take Time Out. Use a minute feel some sorrow for the folks who think tomorrow is a place that they can call up on the phone. Take a month and show some kindness for the folks who thought that blindness was an illness that affected eyes alone." P119-120 Where We Belong, A Duet In every town and village, In every city square, In crowded places I searched the faces Hoping to find Someone to care. I read mysterious meanings In the distant stars, Then I went to schoolrooms And poolrooms And half-lighted cocktail bars. Braving dangers, Going wit strangers, I don't even remember their names. I was quick and breezy And always easy Playing romantic games. I wined and dined a thousand exotic Joans and Janes In dusty dance halls, at debutante balls, On lonely country lanes. I fell in love forever, Twice every year or so. I wooed them sweetly, was theirs completely, But they always let me go. Saying bye now, no need to try now, You don't have the proper charms. Too sentimental and much too gentle I don't tremble in your arms. 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. P121-123 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. P141-142 Willie "I may cry and I will die, But my spirit is the soul of every spring, Watch for me and you will see That I'm present in the songs that children sing." "Wait for me, watch for me. My spirit is the surge of open seas. Look for me, ask for me, I'm the rustle in the autumn leaves. When the sun rises I am the time. When the children sing I am the Rhyme." P154-155 Still I Rise 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. 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. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? 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. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. P161 On Aging When you see me sitting quietly, Like a sack left on the shelf, Don't think I need your chattering. I'm listening to myself. Hold! Stop! Don't pity me! Hold! Stop your sympathy! Understanding if you got it, Otherwise I'll do without it! When my bones are stiff and aching And my feet won't climb the stair, I will only ask one favor: Don't bring me no rocking chair. 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. P165 Call Letters: Mrs. V. B. Ships? Sure I'll sail them. Show me the boat, If it'll float, I'll sail it. Men? Yes I'll love them. If they've got the style, To make me smile, I'll love them. Life? 'Course I'll live it. Let me have breath, Just to my death, And I'll live it. Failure? I'm not ashamed to tell it, I never learned to spell it. Not failure. P199 The Lie Today, you threaten to leave me. I hold curses, in my mouth, which could flood your path, sear bottomless chasms in your road. I keep, behind my lips, invectives capable of tearing the septum from your nostrils and the skin from your back. Tears, copious as a spring rain, are checked in ducts and screams are crowded in a corner of my throat. Are you leaving? Aloud, I say: I'll help you pack, but it's getting late, I'll have to hurry or miss my date. When I return, I know you'll be gone. Do drop a line or telephone. P202-203 Family Affairs You let down, form arched Windows, Over hand-cut stones of your Cathedrals, seas of golden hair. While I, pulled by dusty braids, Left furrows in the Sands of African beaches. Princes and commoners Climbed over waves to reach Your vaulted boudoirs, As the sun, capriciously, Struck silver fire from waiting Chains, where I was bound. My screams never reached The rare tower where you Lay, birthing masters for My sons, and for my Daughters, a swarm of Unclean badgers, to consume Their history. Tired now of pedestal existence For fear of flying And vertigo, you descend And step lightly over My centuries of horror And take my hand, Smiling calling me Sister. Sister, accept That I must wait a While. Allow an age Of dust to fill Ruts left on my Beach in Africa. P209 My Life Has Turned to Blue Our summer's gone, the golden days are through. The rosy dawns I used to wake with you have turned to gray, my life has turned to blue. The once-green lawns glisten now with dew. Red robin's gone, down to the South he flew. Left here alone, my life has turned to blue. I've heard the news that winter too will pass, that spring's a sign that summer's due at last. But until I see you lying in green grass, my life has turned to blue.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Jenkins

    I’m here with another poetry book but this time with the greatest modern poet. Maya Angelou is simply amazing, every word she uses is perfect and expertly chosen and placed. The first book is a collection of four of her poetry collections. “Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die”, “Oh Pray My Wings are Gonna Fit Me Well”, “And Still I Rise”, and “Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing”. These four collections are so beautiful for so many reasons. I also tagged to this her inaugural poem she wrote and rea I’m here with another poetry book but this time with the greatest modern poet. Maya Angelou is simply amazing, every word she uses is perfect and expertly chosen and placed. The first book is a collection of four of her poetry collections. “Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die”, “Oh Pray My Wings are Gonna Fit Me Well”, “And Still I Rise”, and “Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing”. These four collections are so beautiful for so many reasons. I also tagged to this her inaugural poem she wrote and read at Clinton’s Presidential Inauguration I believe. It’s a longer poem but the book is just the poem so I figured I’d attach it to this. It’s called “On the Pulse of Morning” and is such a beautiful and powerful poem on what America is, what it can be. This collection has introduced me to some more new favorites from Angelou as well! If you went through the American public school system then I would hope you’ve read a bit of her poetry before. I read a lot of her growing up but most prominently in my senior year in an AP Lit Class and some more in a college poetry class. These classes are where I fell in love with the stories she tells and the emotions she makes you feel in a short amount of time. From sex to self love, love to hate, the black experience to her life, Angelou covers a wide variety of topics in a nice flowing manner. Between traditional rhyme scheme poetry to mold breaking poetry Angelou has a way with words that will leave an impact long after the last line of the poem has been read. I’m currently itching to get my hands on more of her poetry collections and her autobiographies. I just need more Maya Angelou in my life. If you haven’t had the joy of reading a poem by her, please do yourself a favor and look her up right now. I’d suggest “Still I Rise”, “My Life is Blue”, “On the Pulse of Morning” or “The Caged Bird”, those are my four biggest favorites from her. Of course this collection gets a 10/10 (5/5 Stars)! I wish she were still here with us today but through these words she shall live forever. -Tyler.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steph Arizpe Strobel

    This collection has never reviewed/critiqued by me before but well-loved for many of my 27 years. What do you know about Maya Angelou? Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1928 during a period of racial segregation & injustice, the painful abuse, & heartbreak Maya Angelou experienced at too young an age are major themes in her works; however, equally featured are her celebrations of blackness, the joy of being a woman, & the triumph of defying the systems and ideologies of this world that existed to This collection has never reviewed/critiqued by me before but well-loved for many of my 27 years. What do you know about Maya Angelou? Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1928 during a period of racial segregation & injustice, the painful abuse, & heartbreak Maya Angelou experienced at too young an age are major themes in her works; however, equally featured are her celebrations of blackness, the joy of being a woman, & the triumph of defying the systems and ideologies of this world that existed to break her down. She also played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, & went on to publish several works and produce multimedia focusing on her experiences and innate wisdom. Angelou passed away in 2014, but not before leaving a lasting impact on the literary world and well-beyond for generations. Maya Angelou is also known for her wisdom & has been popularly quoted with some of the most humbling & useful life advice, such as, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”, & my personal favs: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”, & “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time". I will let you know right now, Maya Angelou is the best to ever do it. I’ve had this book for a very long time, having acquired it at some point in grade school & held onto it ever since. Poetry has always been a very comforting and familiar medium for me, & I find myself gravitating back to this book often because of how it makes me feel. Simply put, this collection is good for your soul, and if you ever get a chance, I recommend accessing the audio version of her works as they are often read by Maya Angelou herself ❣️

  12. 5 out of 5

    Silvia's Book Reviews

    Tenía muchas ganas de leer a Maya Angelou porque mi profesora de inglés de la escuela de idiomas nos había hecho trabajar sobre alguno de sus poemas y me entró la curiosidad por descubrir más. Sin embargo, no sabía muy bien dónde empezar ni qué libro coger, así que opté por pedirme por Navidades esta recopilación con toda su poesía y tener todo en un solo lugar. Think smart: ahorro de espacio y de dinero 😂😂. En cuanto a los poemas, me parecen todos muy viscerales, Maya está desnudando su alma en Tenía muchas ganas de leer a Maya Angelou porque mi profesora de inglés de la escuela de idiomas nos había hecho trabajar sobre alguno de sus poemas y me entró la curiosidad por descubrir más. Sin embargo, no sabía muy bien dónde empezar ni qué libro coger, así que opté por pedirme por Navidades esta recopilación con toda su poesía y tener todo en un solo lugar. Think smart: ahorro de espacio y de dinero 😂😂. En cuanto a los poemas, me parecen todos muy viscerales, Maya está desnudando su alma en cada verso, en cada estrofa y te transmite aquello que ella estaba sintiendo a la hora de escribirlo. Además, los temas de los que trata son un tanto universales, como la familia, la fe, el amor, la sociedad, la injusticia, todo esto desde un punto de vista personal, pero a la vez familiar y con el que te puedes sentir identificado. Sin lugar a dudas, lo que más me ha gustado es el hecho de que los poemas, no solo son preciosos (Maya juega de forma increíble con el idioma), pero también bastante accesible. No sé por qué, pero siempre he tenido esta idea preconcebida de que la poesía tenía que estar llena de mil recursos y de metáforas enrevesadas para poder ser considerada como tal, como una obra maestra, pero Maya Angelou me ha demostrado que eso no es necesario. No sé, me ha hecho mirar la poesía desde otro punto de vista.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cooper

    Maya Angelou’s “The Complete Poetry” is a diverse, well-written collection of poems. Throughout the collection, the poems get longer and longer. Each of the poems tells a unique story. Each of them uses different or at times similar styles where each one fits the story. Angelou has done a great job at finding the best methods to show a message in her poems. Overall, this was an interesting read and it was completely different from any other reads before. This has made me more interested in looki Maya Angelou’s “The Complete Poetry” is a diverse, well-written collection of poems. Throughout the collection, the poems get longer and longer. Each of the poems tells a unique story. Each of them uses different or at times similar styles where each one fits the story. Angelou has done a great job at finding the best methods to show a message in her poems. Overall, this was an interesting read and it was completely different from any other reads before. This has made me more interested in looking at more poems. I would recommend people to read some of her poems, but would just tell them if they want, they could read the whole thing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jess✧✵

    *3.5 I really enjoyed a lot of this collection. After having read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and not really resonating with it, I was hesitant to read more of Maya Angelou's work, but I'm glad I did. I much preferred her poetic writing, as she has strong word choices that really surprised me and grabbed my attention. *3.5 I really enjoyed a lot of this collection. After having read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and not really resonating with it, I was hesitant to read more of Maya Angelou's work, but I'm glad I did. I much preferred her poetic writing, as she has strong word choices that really surprised me and grabbed my attention.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katia M. Davis

    This is essentially a collection of four poetry books in one. It's a grand collection of very powerful and poignant writing. I made lots of pencil notes in the margins. It really got me thinking. Highly recommend. This is essentially a collection of four poetry books in one. It's a grand collection of very powerful and poignant writing. I made lots of pencil notes in the margins. It really got me thinking. Highly recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Whitear

    I wish that every poetry book came with a small paragraph of context next to the poems, like at an art gallery. Then you can choose to read them just as words but also with the ideas of the poet. I loved these pieces and will come back to them I'm sure. I wish that every poetry book came with a small paragraph of context next to the poems, like at an art gallery. Then you can choose to read them just as words but also with the ideas of the poet. I loved these pieces and will come back to them I'm sure.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jojo Bongard

    Read in lockdown. Great. I loved 'Riot : 60's ', but 'No Loser , No Weeper' was one that stuck in my head for while. The whole collection is very readable and there is a consistent high quality. You could make an argument for pretty much any one of these poems. Read in lockdown. Great. I loved 'Riot : 60's ', but 'No Loser , No Weeper' was one that stuck in my head for while. The whole collection is very readable and there is a consistent high quality. You could make an argument for pretty much any one of these poems.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Such a beautiful collection

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joni

    Like most books of poetry, I didn't read this all at once. I picked it up and put it down as the mood struck me. This woman had such a way with words, she was a national treasure. Like most books of poetry, I didn't read this all at once. I picked it up and put it down as the mood struck me. This woman had such a way with words, she was a national treasure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Pretty good. Maya Angelou isn't my favorite poet, but some of her poems are pretty good! Pretty good. Maya Angelou isn't my favorite poet, but some of her poems are pretty good!

  21. 5 out of 5

    LaurenT

    👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thany

    4.5!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    4.75 loved. u can tell bcz i dog eared so many pages.

  24. 5 out of 5

    bookgirl13

    In March, the bookclub I was participating in couldn't find a decent book to read, so we ended up reading this book for the month. I'm not someone who really enjoys reading poetry, so I figured I wouldn't like it reading it very much. Most or maybe all of the poems were told in third person by nobody in particular. The poems were short and were about love, pain, happiness, and other emotions people felt. Most of them didn't interest me, but I read them anyway. There also isn't any actual plot in In March, the bookclub I was participating in couldn't find a decent book to read, so we ended up reading this book for the month. I'm not someone who really enjoys reading poetry, so I figured I wouldn't like it reading it very much. Most or maybe all of the poems were told in third person by nobody in particular. The poems were short and were about love, pain, happiness, and other emotions people felt. Most of them didn't interest me, but I read them anyway. There also isn't any actual plot in the book, so don't read it thinking theres an actual story being set. Overall, I felt this book wasn't very fun to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    gee

    wow i am speechless.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bronwynn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura Burton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Sisson

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