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On the Pulse of Morning

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  672 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
A beautifully packaged hardcover edition of the poem that captivated the nation and quickly became a national bestseller.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published November 9th 1993 by Random House
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 05, 2007 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have committed the entire poem to memory. It should be our national poem.
Malikah Moomin
Jan 24, 2014 Malikah Moomin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
without a doubt some of my favorite excepts out of Dr. Maya Angelou's inaugural poem to William Jefferson Clinton on January 20, 1993:

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come
Aug 23, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Maya Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton on 20 January 1993. She was the second poet to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration after Robert Frost recited his poem "The Gift Outright" at the Presidential Inauguration of JFK on 20 January 1961.
A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their h
Whitney (First Impressions Reviews)
Sep 22, 2013 Whitney (First Impressions Reviews) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
On the Pulse of Morning was read at President Clinton's 1993 inauguration. Being a supporter of President Clinton I was excited to read this. I hope my political views do not taint this review.

Prior to On the Pulse of Morning I had only read I know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which I enjoyed, but had never ventured into her poetry. Maya Angelou's poem was beautiful, a flow of thought-provoking inspirational words. I am not an "inspirational" reader. I usually find them sappy and Hallmark Channeles
Jan 17, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite poem of all time.
Kim B
Jan 05, 2015 Kim B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Maya Angelou. Unforgettable.
I was browsing through the library stacks, in the poetry section- 811.5- when I saw a skinny book. It didn’t have a title on the spine but it read “The Inaugural Poem: On The Pulse of Morning” by Maya Angelou. I remembered watching President Obama’s second inauguration and how Richard Blanco’s “One Today” was much talked about and highly praised. I went to see if that was available in book form. It was. And, so I sought what other inaugural poems had been published and came up with “Praise Song ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
I snuck in and read this while it was at Spike's house. It's a very pretty little book and the poem was OK: I'm not a fan of 'occasional' poems, which is why, when I write them, they're always doggrel. Anyway in this the fabric of the country - rock, river, tree - calls to the people of the country to have the courage to dream and reshape the life of the country (or at least that's how I now interpret the jottings I made at the time, a couple of months ago). A good way round methinks.

Here on the
maya angelou's extraordinary biographies, including "i know why the caged bird sings," were already part of college english and humanities courses when former president bill clinton tagged her to write "on the pulse of morning" for his january 20, 1993 inauguration ceremony. despite debates regarding whether angelou is a better prose writer than she is a poet, her inauguration poem is among few, penned by modern poets, that can claim the status of "modern classic." the poet's recital of the work ...more
Nov 13, 2008 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Maya Angelou
Recommended to Tracey by: hearing Ms. Angelou recite it
i was in a hotel room in Wichita, KS on the day that Bill Clinton was inaugurated as president. i had been having a big struggle with some personal stuff and was wallowing in the midst of that and not really listening to the t.v. all of a sudden, it's as if the volume got cranked WAY UP when Ms. Angelou spoke these words, which easily make up my favorite quote of all time:
History, despite its wrenching pain,
cannot be unlived,
yet, if faced with courage,
need not be lived again.

i truly don't rememb
Cath Van
Jun 24, 2012 Cath Van rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Bill Clinton's election for president in 1993 brought back memories of the profound excitement I felt when J.F. Kennedy was elected president. I don't think I was the only person believing in deep change happening at that time.
Clinton revived some of that feeling. As he did revive the tradition of an inaugural poem being written for and read at the inauguration ceremony.I know some people later labeled Maya Angelou's On the Pulse of Morning touchy/feely but when I read about not hiding beneath
Jul 10, 2009 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorite poems. I used it in my commencement address, and used it as the basis for my first upper English course in college. When I was younger, I didn't even know what the references were, but as an adult I appreciate it (and have learned what those references are!) For me, the title sums up the beauty and simplicity of the poem: that every day is a new beginning; that greatness is near; and we all are connected through blood, culture, or shared experiences.
Mar 28, 2014 Cathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
"History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again."

What glorious words for a people, for an individual, for a world.

"Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And say simply
Very simply
With hope --
Good morning."
Aug 12, 2014 Tristan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I thought this book was sort of meh. Not a bad poem, not a great poem, maybe it would have been better is I had heard her read it at Clinton's inauguration (on Youtube) but I just couldn't bring myself to be especially impressed, although it was good.
Scott Whitney
Oct 30, 2015 Scott Whitney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All at once a reminder of the past, a challenge to the present, and a call to the future. Inspiring in its wording and message which melds words together in a beautiful message. I remember this being read at the inauguration, but I got much more out of it in its written form.
Kara Troglin
Apr 02, 2009 Kara Troglin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maya Angelou's Inaugural poem is beautiful in its entirety. She gives something no other poet can give and digs deep in the depths of every single heart providing ultimate comfort. This poem is one of a kind, raw, and inspiring!
Sep 03, 2007 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: uber-books
This is the poem that Maya Angelou read at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. I was there when she read it, but I couldn't hear her over the noise of the giant crowd. It is filled with such beauty and hope for our country, and I weep every time I read it. She is a national treasure.
Jun 14, 2007 Pallavi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This poem was first read by Maya Angelou at President Cliton's inaguration and it is my favorite poem, although I am not poetry expert ;-)
But it is a great poem nonetheless. It's my favorite piece from Maya Angelou and to me it captures the essence of her writing style and spirit the best.
Oct 18, 2007 Alane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I wasn't the jaded grump I have become so this was inspirational for me. Now makes me sad to think back...
Feb 13, 2015 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's one thing to read a Maya Angelou poem. It's quite another to hear her enchanting voice speak the words. I prefer the later - it brings so much more meaning to the message.
Ekata Niraula
Nov 19, 2014 Ekata Niraula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just the poem I deep and able to induce vivid images of nature and it's cry for new and peaceful days with new morn
May 03, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to memorize this for an ethnic studies class at the U. I didn't love Bill, but what can I say, I love Maya.
May 30, 2014 Judi rated it it was amazing
A forever favorite. I memorized it back in 1993. I also had both of my kiddies memorize it as well. Revisited it yesterday in memory of Maya Angelou.
ruelas l.
I read this book, but only becouse i need to read poetry i thought the book was okay.I havn't got anything to really say about it
Damian Holman
Oct 11, 2013 Damian Holman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream."

Maya... :D
May 06, 2008 A rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I agree -- a gorgeous poem, and I especially like hearing it read by the author on audio (which I have). Maya Angelou is remarkable and inspirational in so many ways.
Lisa Fisher comfort
Lisa Fisher comfort rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2012
Valerie rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2014
Jose rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2015
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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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