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Poems: Maya Angelou

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,961 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Tenderly, joyously, sometimes in sadness,sometimes in pain, Maya Angelou writes from the heart andcelebrates life as only she has discovered it. Inthis moving volume of poetry, we hear themulti-faceted voice of one of the most powerful andvibrant writers of our time.

From the Paperback edition.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 12th 1997 by Bantam (first published February 1st 1986)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 23, 2012 Brittany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were a few poems and stanzas that really stood out to me, but in general I'm not a poetry person. I picked this up because it has "Still I Rise" in it and I absolutely fell in love with that poem my senior year of college. Some others that really stood out to me:

"Take Time Out," especially:
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.
Jun 28, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
If you want wonder, beauty, insight, stimulation, inspiration, rhythm and rhyme, language that shines . . . then this one's for you. If you've never read Angelou, please do. If you've never seen a poet, a guru, a Goddess speak, please do. If you've never been inspired, enlivened by the spirit of humankind, that which goes beyond the bounds of the mundane, lifeless, work-a-day world, please do. Get this book, and as Red in Shawshank Redemption states, "You got to either get to living or get to dy ...more
The first poem I read of Maya Angelou was in Global Literature in 10th grade, when we read "Phenomenal Woman." The powerful literary devices used, especially repetition, made it one of my favorite poems. I was happy when I saw the same poem in this collection of Angelou's poems. The book contains poems on a variety of topics, but I believe Angelou is a feminist writer, and therefore writes poems empowering women. She also includes unforgettable poems that rhyme, deal with past family issues, and ...more
Asma Afreen
Mar 07, 2015 Asma Afreen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This book came as an answer for my urge to indulge in some sophistication. And a literal treat at that. Having been a fan of Maya Angelou for quite some time, I had chanced on this book at Blossoms last year and bought it immediately. And it wasn't until I read it, that I appreciated what a good pick my impulsive buy was.

The cover is unassuming and straightforward, maybe a glimpse of the lady herself. But the pages beneath are pure gold. I really found myself enjoying the poems more with every
There are a lot of very famous poems in this collection but having encountered them later on it wasn't as surprising as I was expecting.
Jean Ramsay
Jun 15, 2014 Jean Ramsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2014
Transcendent. Nothing I say could live up to the genius of this wordsmith. The world is better because of her and worse with her now gone.
Jun 10, 2010 Ari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When reading poems by Maya Angelou it fills me with so much inspiration. Not only do I learn for her poems, but I also try and figure out a way to put what i learn to use in the real world. Her poem "On The Pulse of Morning" was terrific! It was given at the inaguration of President Clinton. It took me by surprise and gave me a different perspective on life and how everyone should be treated fairly and that once you take a different perspective in hand you'll live a better life. The overall book ...more
Eilidh Dunsmore
Feb 25, 2015 Eilidh Dunsmore rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The emotionally mature
Recommended to Eilidh by: My book club
In Maya Angelou's book (originally titled 'Poems,' just kidding, she tells it like it is, it's her style, and the title matches the rest of her work) is a beautiful, truthful, compilation of poetry created by a master. I ended up reading this book because it was what we elected to choose in my book club. It was then explained to me that when it came to poetry books, it was not required that I read all of them in the traditional right to left fashion. In fact, it was common to skip about accordin ...more
Kristen Lindsay
Maya Angelou is a phenomenal writer and poet. I am a huge fan of Maya Angelou and find great inspirations in her poetry. While reading the book entitled "poems". I came across the most beautiful heart felt poem. The poem is a love poem entitled "In and Out" by Maya Angelou. The poem enables the reader to feel emotions with the strong voice it gives while reading. The poem shares the story of a love so strong, even through trials and ups and downs the love endures it all. The love endures hardshi ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ali by: Oprah Winfrey
Shelves: favorites
From Africa to boobies...From death to diamonds at the meeting of thighs...From love to rape.
Maya Angelou surely lives her life.
Although some of the poems are overly slang, the majority would keep on breaking your heart into a million pieces, and thereafter, find fellow poems, to fix and amend.
In my second reading, I've decided to mark the poems I loved by flipping the edge of the papers. Now my collection of poems look like an intricate piece of origami.

Shawnee Bowlin
Sep 16, 2009 Shawnee Bowlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I checked this book out from our local library with high expectations. I have heard about Maya Angelou for years now, so I thought I was missing something by not introducing my homeschool student to her poems.
I've changed my train of thought on that one for sure. This book sucked. I honestly don't know how she became so famous, because I was thoroughly disappointed.

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
Mar 22, 2015 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't know how to rate poetry, but I really, really enjoyed this. I'm not a big reader of stuff like this, but it was all so heartfelt and passionate that it was just a pleasure to read. I recommend it for people who don't particularly fancy flowery poetry, and want something with a bit of guts in it. Maya Angelou speaks with a boldness I wish I had.
Nikki Hobbs
Aug 17, 2010 Nikki Hobbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book (along with a few others of hers)for a long time, I got it when I was in 6th or 7th grade. It is worn and torn in place because it has seen alot of love! Although I have read it time and time again, it still has the same effect on gives me chills and makes me cry everytime! Maya is truly amazing with her words!

3.75/5 stars

Rating a compilation of poems is much like rating a compilation of short stories, there's gonna be ones that you love, and ones that you don't care for. It was 50/50 for me.

My favorite of them obviously being Still I Rise

But I also quite enjoyed

The Detached
To a Freedom Fighter
My Guilt
Phenomenal Woman
On Aging
Impeccable Conception, and
Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?

This is the first thing I've read of her and her writing style reminded me of Eric Jerome Dickey. She's pre
Aug 23, 2015 Dominique rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Maya Angelou is a gifted writer.
The complexity of her poems range from fairly easy to intermediate in terms of how hard they are to understand, but of course, there will always be special things from her life, mind, and heart, that we will never fully uncover.
About 95% of her poems are sad, but in the best of ways. She delves into the emotions of sadness and grief and defeat the most. Her poems are conscious, personal, wistful, whispering of disappointment in harsh realities.

Overall, I thoroughl
Dec 30, 2012 Cherise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful collection of Maya Angelou's work I love this book! I read it whenever I need encouragement
Dec 22, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
3.5 stars.
Maya Angelou will always be legendary and inspirational and insightful in American history. And this poetry is no exception. I just didn't find the majority of the subject matter to be something I can personally relate to very much and have an emotional reaction to. However a few poems I did love:

Still I Rise
On Aging
Weekend Glory

And coincidentally, all of those are near the end of the book, within the last half at least.

I definitely plan on reading "I Know Why The Caged Bird S
Jan 31, 2013 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Angelou is a first-rate autobiographer, and a mediocre poet, though a fine aloudreader and stage presence in an era when even Obama's first inaugural poet had no idea how to aloudread her own poem. Angelou fulfills the limited popular American (Romantic) idea of a poet--one who talks, ad infinitum, about oneself and one's problems (or in Angelou's case, problems over which she triumphs*). We are still stuck in the Romantic period, two centuries after Wordsworth and Coleridge (then Keats and She ...more
Sofia W
Mar 05, 2015 Sofia W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Poems, in short is just that. A collection of poems written by Maya Angelou are of all different styles and themes. At first light yet meaningful, many of the poems turned out to contain darker undertones that showed pain and misfortune. Also, many of the poems dealt with racial issues, probably having something to do with the fact that the author is black. I enjoyed reading this collection on my downtime, and liked the fact that the separate poems brought me to a new understanding about differe ...more
Aug 12, 2015 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This a book of nothing but Poems just like the title says. Maya Angelou in my opinion, is one of our most talented writers. She is also a talented poet. this book comes in sections. all have different categories. Some deal with heartbreak, others triumph, being a black woman, some have humor,some sad. I am not a huge fan of poetry but willing to try reading them at times. This is a pretty good poetry book by a gifted writer. If you are a fan of Maya Angelou, you many also like this collection of ...more
Jul 18, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Angelou's anthology of poetry from her various collections is a representative grouping of her lyrical works. Her poetry displays an understanding of the connections between history and culture. Each poem appears to be a labor of emotion, as Angelou develops them through her own experiences and the cultural events of her lifetime. However, the poems aren't limited to politics: she also writes of family, romance, and the simple joys and woes of life.
Dec 29, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Actual Rating: 3.5 of 5 thorns

This book is a collection of 4 poetry books Angelou had previously published separately. In my opinion, her poetry improves as her career progressed. She uses lots of rhythm and rhyme, along with refrains, for her poetic forms. I was surprised and sort of disappointed to not see more active interaction with race, though it is a mainstay of the collection. The book is aesthetically beautiful, too.
John Doe
Jan 02, 2014 John Doe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Baudelaire has a poem where two men are walking together, and they see a beggar. The first man keeps walking, but the second man drops a counterfeit coin into the beggar's cup. The first man thinks, 'At least I was honest in my cruelty.' The second man says, 'People like to get something unexpected every once in a while.' In short, the idiot made the poor beggar into an unwitting criminal because the beggar is going to spend the counterfeit money. And the goddamn 'philanthropist' felt good about ...more
Red Heaven
Far be it for me to criticize such a lauded poet, but I found most of these poems to be simplistic and not very deep. Perhaps I am missing something, perhaps I am not the ideal audience, and perhaps much smarter people can parse these and find a literary merit, value and meaning that escapes me. I will definitely check out I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, though.
Courtney Umlauf
Family Affairs

You let down, from arched
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 no
Mar 05, 2015 Anais rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poems by Maya Angelou is a great book. I loved the way she was not shy to write and talk about all matters and subjects. All her poems are meaningful and deep. I really enjoy the poems about empowering women and encouraging them. It is so sad that she is no longer with us because she was truly an amazing writer.
Dec 10, 2009 Raymond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-poetry
"This rocky road is not paved for us,/So, I'll believe in Liberal's aid for us/When I see a white man load a Black man's gun."

I first read this collection some time in the ninties. What sold the book for me were the the lines quoted above from On Working White Liberals. I had been browsing the book when I came upon these lines.
As a "white" liberal, the lines first shocked me with their idea, and then made me consider what I would do. Loading anyone's gun is not something I would willingly do. I
George Kousas
Apr 15, 2015 George Kousas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Καταπληκτική έκδοση που περιλαμβάνει 4 ποιητικές συλλογές της.
Ποίηση σύγχρονη, άμεση, συγκινητική.
Ότι πιο "straight to the face" διάβασα πρόσφατα το οποίο τελικά καταλήγει "straight to the heart".
Mikaylynn Williams
This was the first poetry book I have read but it wasn't bad! It was different and I loved a couple of the poems in this book. Looking forward to reading more poetry books.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #34 - Poems by Maya Angelou 1 2 Feb 28, 2015 09:54AM  
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Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, was an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, (1969 which was n ...more
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“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.” 318 likes
“I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.”
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