Analysis Of Pulse By Maya Angelou Essay

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The Unification When posed the question of the greatest poet of the twentieth century, many names come to mind, such as T. S. Eliot or Robert Frost. However, one name stands out in particular, only partially because of the extreme level of discrimination during said period. Considered one of the most influential African-American writers of this time period, Maya Angelou is well-known for her various works, including screenplays and music. However, one of her most memorable works was a poem entitled “On the Pulse of Morning.” Angelou wrote “Pulse” for President Clinton’s inauguration, where she then read the poem herself. Although the poem “Pulse” received much publicity, few critics have criticized the poem due to the positive feedback before …show more content…
Angelou’s poetic structures vary, even from poem to poem (48). As is evident by the inconsistent number of lines per stanza and rhyming, “Pulse” is a free-verse poem. Each line has a different number of syllables and words, which Hagen states are insinuating of tonal inflection (20). The universality of “Pulse” is further emphasized by this seemingly personalized technique. Another plea for the vital alliance of all of mankind is the intense quality of “Pulse”. Hagen best explains the flavor of Angelou’s work when she …show more content…
Alliteration is ample throughout “Pulse.” From “Marked the mastodon” (3) and “distant destiny” (11) to “wall of the world” (23), such alliterations emphasize the meanings of the statements in which they lie. The purpose of this emphasis is to mimic a song, which is one of the most universally uniting fashions of communication. The function of these alliterations are obvious, though Coulthard argues that these alliterations are not “natural, necessary, or even very clear” (31). Imagery also plays an important role in the concord Angelou conveys. The “gloom of dust and ages” (8) and the “bruising darkness” (16) represent the dark ages before man, while the “bloody sear” (37) of cynicism and the people “forced on bloody feet” (59) signify the internal struggles of mankind, but “this bright morning” (72) and the urge to not be “yoked eternally / To brutishness” (89-90) show the audience a kaleidoscope of images, from the past of separation and failure to the possible future of integrality and hope. Personification is also a key element of figurative language that Angelou uses to urge the audience to join in peace. The idea of the entirety of nature joining to call to humankind is one that cannot be ignored. The personification of the Rock, River, and Tree is consistent throughout the poem, such as “today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully” (9) or “A River sings a beautiful song” (24). Another notable entry is

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