Essay about Maya Angelou

1000 Words Feb 19th, 2013 4 Pages
Maya Angelou
"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." Have you ever been so influenced by such a small amount of powerful words? This brilliant quote extracted from Maya Angelou's own poem, "Still I Rise", basically brings out the spirit and nature of each of her publications. Maya Angelou's works of poetry are seen as inspiration for those who have been discriminated for their public appearances. As a victim of personal rejection and institutional racism, Maya writes in an assertive, confident tone with a repetitive style on behalf of African-American discrimination as seen through her poems "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", "Phenomenal
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The “caged bird” in her poem represents a suffering African American as Maya explains her feelings about segregation. Yet, Angelou still believes in her people and has hope for them. For example, she writes, "his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing," which means even though the bird is trapped, it has hope. As a result, her poetry often reflected the power of the black people and how they dealt with racism during this time period, which is definitely seen as a main theme in her poem. "As a rape victim, Maya learns to speak up and to not live in fear. She is no longer afraid of anything (Lupton). This uprising confidence reflects Maya’s “contempt for her black skin, she wishes for the privileges that come with being white” (Lupton). Overall, this poem symbolizes “how a helpless rage came to an outright and active protest” (Walker). She portrays her emotions and feelings by using a unique style. The mood has a sense of anger to it, but it all comes from Maya’s pride in her race. Also included in this poem is the use of metaphors. Lupton states, "’I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ abounds in such moments of verbal force, where the metaphors perfectly correspond to the emotion.” She has a traditional poem writing element in her poem too, rhymes. Angelou has composed poetry from the particulars and the rhythms she knows (Sylvester). All Maya’s elements of writing seem to come from

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