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Amazing Peace: And Other Poems

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  528 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
In this beautiful, deeply moving poem, Maya Angelou inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas, so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. “Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward,” she writes, “and speak the word aloud. Peace.”

Read by the poet at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White
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Audio
Published December 1st 2005 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 1995)
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Jean
This is a special edition of Maya Angelou's poem, which she wrote to celebrate Christmas. The poem Amazing Peace was read by Maya Angelou at the lighting of the National Christmas tree near the White House, in Washington D.C. in 2005. It is printed here, divided into a picture book, suitable for family reading. The illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are unusual; oil on canvas, rather than the standard illustrative technique for children's books of watercolour. The result is a rough t ...more
Steph
Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou is aptly named, not just because it reflects the content of the poem, but also because amazing peace is what the words deliver to it's reader.
This is one of the most beautiful poems that I have read, and it spoke to my heart, especially on this day when our country is so divided over election results.
I recommend everyone to read this, and experience the message as I have. Note: There is also a children's picture book available.

Quotes:

Streaming lights of joy, ringing
...more
Ryan Wilkey
This poem was written as a celebration of peace and Christmas and read by Maya Angelou at the lighting of the Christmas Tree at the White House in 2005.

So I'm not really mixed on this poem, but I have to say a few things:

1) Of course the poem sounds good, because when words come together in a well-written way they'll always sound good (hopefully). But that's not enough. There is so much that a writer can do with form and language that can transform a poem from good to SPECTACULAR. This poem fall
...more
Jenny
This is a beautiful book with lovely illustrations. The version I read had a CD with the poem being read by Maya Angelou and it was even more remarkable when read by her.

Listen to these remarkable words:

"It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled
by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds."

Truly lovely...and so
...more
Catherine  Mustread
Two different versions of this book -- the one in my hand is a slim white book with no pictures. The other one is a brightly illustrated version with Children and Christmas trees throughout. The main theme of the poem is that Christmas is the only time of year that believers and nonbeliever can "say without shyness or apology or hesitation: Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul."
Christine
The audio reading by Angelou herself is a real treat. A beautiful poem with beautiful illustrations. A lovely read for the season.
Âlim
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a special-edition poetry book, which contains the deeply soul-moving poem, Amazing Peace, that Maya Angelou read at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree on December 1st, 2005.

Rhapsodic and resplendent, this poem made me feel as if I was standing with others at the lighting of the tree, there were candles casting flippant shadows on the snow covered earth, spirits were animated despite the brisk winter air, the voice of the poetess gently danced on the ears of listeners, her voice
...more
Christy Baker
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A small-sized gift book (like Angelou's The Pulse of Morning, which I highly recommend) of a single poem, I chanced upon this as I was browsing at the library. The poem itself is what shines on nice quality paper with no adornment of photo or illustration. I could almost hear the poet's voice reading it aloud and suspect that if I looked, perhaps there is a video of her somewhere doing just that; I have memory of hearing her reading her poetry on TV for Clinton's inauguration. This is invitation ...more
Jo Oehrlein
A poem about true peace. Unfortunately, it tries to make the Christmas Peace something relevant to Jews, Buddhists, Jainists, Muslims, AND Christians.

I think peace is relevant and important to all those groups, but only Christians say and celebrate "At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ".
Jessica
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This little book had beautiful poems about peace & being kind to others. It had little focus on Christmas. I could hear Maya Angelou's voice reciting each poem as I read them silently. Wonderful way to start my day!
Robin Webb
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful
Wes Morrison
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peace to the world

What a beautiful collection of poems for the holiday season. the poems help the reader find the meaning of Christmas
Darlene House
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book for all ages to read. It came with a CD where the author read her work. Beautiful illustrations from paintings.
Elevate Difference
Amazing Peace is visually amazing and beautiful as the colors are muted but still vibrant. The gold lettering in the title stands out and adds a touch of style. This book was a true collaboration between Maya Angelou and illustrators Steve Johnston and Lou Fancher. The poetry and pictures meld together, and the words touch your heart. The pictures are textured, which adds to their magic. This is truly a book to bring people together to forget our petty differences.

This book is a call for peace—n
...more
Gloria Copeland
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poetry review
ELM 572
3-26-2015

In Maya Angelou, “Amazing Peace ”, I enjoyed the Christmas poem about the community coming together for one common purpose the Birth of Jesus “Peace”. The setting for this poem is in a small town or community in the coldest of winter filled with snow.
The residents questions God about the covenant (promise to take care of them) he made since it snowed on top of snow with no relief from the cold. Then comes the Christmas season shining a new light on life for forgiven
...more
Larissa
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Christmas time!
This poem is so delightful and heart warming. It really translates a beautiful message and the true meaning of Christmas (to my understanding, at least). Angelou talks to us about Christmas, this lovely time of year: a time for hope to be born again in our hearts, a time for kindness to reign and thrive above hate. For peace to sound louder than violence; peace in all of our hearts to open way for love, understanding and respect. I really enjoyed this! The only shame is that it is quite small, l ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip aka "The Genius" for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

Maya Angelou, world-renowned poet, philanthropist, and humanitarian, brings to vivid life the true meaning of Christmas. Her poems are not the simple rhyming ones of many children's books, but rather a meshing of words that go straight to the heart.

"Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you to stay awhile with us
So we may learn by your shimme
...more
Miri
Well, of course it was beautiful, and I really love Maya Angelou's... everything. But I don't love the illustrations, and honestly, even the content of the poem was a stretch for me. It reminds me of these memes I've been seeing, and while I can appreciate the intent of the memes, they are essentially victim-blaming. The problem isn't that non-Christians are offended by being wished a merry Christmas; it's that Christians don't respect the fact that not everyone is Christian. Non-Christians woul ...more
Meredith
"Hope is born again in the faces of children.
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they
walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the world, brightening all things,
Even hate,which crouches breeding in
dark corridors."

"We Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the
aloud.
Peace. We look to each other, then into ourselves,
And we say without shyness or apology, or hesitation:

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Pe
...more
Ramona
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the Christmas season swiftly approaching, this picture book with a poem written by Maya Angelou for the 2005 White House treelighting ceremony beautifully prepares our hearts for this season of hope & peace. The book comes with a CD that you can listen to Angelou read the poem as you enjoy the illustrations so well done by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Angelou writes "Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singin ...more
MaryJo
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous illustrations!
MaryJo
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeously illustrated!
Kathleen
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"In our Joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is peace."

Amazing Peace is the perfect way for a family to start its holiday season. In her sparse but beautiful prose, Ms. Angelou reminds us of what is really important this season. It's not the flashing lights, brightly colored packages, or even the stress. It is very simply, that "We look at each other, then into ourselves. and we say w
...more
Tom Bochnak
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I read this book digitally via CPL's Overdrive.

This book is definitely meant to be a read aloud. I doubt young readers will know what "jubilate the precious advent of trust" means. This will be the biggest stumbling block for young readers. The images are well drawn, but I don't think that they aid readers either, which is important when text is complex. Students will use the pictures to aid in their understanding of words or actions.

The poem itself is of course a great piece. It's Maya Angelo
...more
Robin
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing! Powerful! Beautifully rich! "In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs."
Crystal
This is a lovely poem about peace. I could hear her voice in my head reading. Reading this made me want to read more by her so I picked up I know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I saw it on the shelf. I guess my "TBR" pile is getting bigger."

I also found a video of her talking about this poem on the Today show. She talked about us having and bringing inner peace with us and gave the example of staying peaceful even in traffic. It totally reminded me of this quote, "Why choose to be angry? It won't
...more
Tania Damian
One of Maya Angelou's most beloved poems is turned into a beautifully illustrated children's book. This poem is perfect for teachers to read to his/her students before Christmas break. The poem was inspired by all the terrible natural disasters that happen all around the world. Angelou wanted to remind people of what the Christmas holiday should be all about, bringing all kinds of people together. Poor or rich, white or black, Muslim or Christian, the poem is about a family that brings their who ...more
Jay
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2016
I picked this up at the library, as I was in the mood for a bit of poetry. Opening it up however, I had to battle back annoyance over how small a poem it was, tucked into just as small a book. I wanted a bit more substance. But as I got into the poem, it is a nice once. Not super moving, but some nice words and phrases ideal for Christmas time poetry. So overall, nice poem, but one small poem for a "book" just seems wrong.
Benja
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maya Angelou celebrates Peace, which according to this poem is inseparable from Christmas. I dunno. I appreciate the sentiment, I just don't buy into the idea that world peace can be attained through religion of all things, nor do I care for that line of "Believers and Nonbelievers / Look heavenward and speak the word aloud / Peace".
Jackie
This book is based on a poem performed by Angelou at the 2005 White House tree lighting ceremony. The painting by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are truly amazing. One line of the poem especially captured me: "It is what we have hungered for. Not just the absence of war. But true Peace."
That is truly what the greatest world hunger today is.
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two entries maybe? 1 1 Feb 09, 2017 07:06AM  
21st Century Lite...: This topic has been closed to new comments. In Memory of Maya Angelou 2 27 Oct 16, 2015 12:32AM  
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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 ...more
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