Maya Angelou
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 Maya Angelou
Biographical Information
Examples of Poems
Works by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou Links
Biographical Information of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928.  She is a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She earned her doctorite and speak several languages including French, Spanish, Italian, and West African Fanti.  She married a South African Freedom fighter.  She has published ten best selling books and countless magazine articles. She also wrote and delivered a poem at the 1993 Presidential Inauguration.  Maya Angelou stills lives and writes to this day.

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Examples of Maya Angelou's Poems
"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
             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
             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

             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
             Phenomenal woman,
             That's me.

"A Conceit"

             Give me your hand

             Make room for me
             to lead and follow
             beyond this rage of poetry.

             Let others have
             the privacy of
             touching words
             and love of loss
             of love.

             For me
             Give me your hand.

"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.

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Works by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
A Song Flung Up To Heaven
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou
The Heart of  a Woman
Phenomenal Woman
The Maya Angelou Poetry Collection (unabridged)
Life Doesn't Frighten Me
Gather Together In My Name
Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now
All God's Children Need Travelling Shoes
Swingin' and Singin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas
I Shall Not Be Moved
Black Pearls: The Poetry of Maya Angelou
Even the Stars Look Lonesome
Kofi and His Magic
And Still I Rise
Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Die
On the Pulse of Morning
A Brave and Startling Truth
Oh Pray My Wings Are Going to Fit Me Well
Now Sheba Sings the Song
Mrs. Flowers: A Moment of Friendship
Making Magic in the World
Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?
My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me
Order Out of Chaos

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Maya Angelou Links
 Maya Angelou's Official Web Page
 Empirezine's A Look into Maya Angelou
 Maya Angelou Biography
 Inaugaral Poem
 Women's Writers Biography on Maya Angelou

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Katy Z., Copyright 2002