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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,390 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Tenderly, joyously, sometimes in sadness,  sometimes in pain, Maya Angelou writes from the heart and  celebrates life as only she has discovered it. In  this moving volume of poetry, we hear the  multi-faceted voice of one of the most powerful and  vibrant writers of our time.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published February 1st 1986)
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May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
What is it like to be a woman of colour with brilliant intellectual and linguistic power? Is it a blessing, is it a curse, is it both at the same time? Isn't it just being human, in the end?

Maya Angelou's poems have accompanied my teaching for a very long time. Her direct, honest words fit any human rights discussions, any debates on racism and misogyny, any reflections on the distribution of wealth and power, privilege and entitlement. Her hopes and fears, her dreams and nightmares are the stu
Richard Denney
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful and heartfelt read. My favorite poem had to be Still I Rise, my favorite line being: "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." Maya is such an inspirational and captivating woman and I'm so happy to have read her some of her work. I plan to read more soon and have more of Maya in my life. :)
SheriC (PM)
I rarely read poetry because I have difficulty connecting with it. But this collection, on audio, is performed by the author herself, and hearing it in her own voice is profoundly moving. It gave me the opportunity to experience some of her less widely known work. Some of my favorites:
Sounds Like Pearls
Poor Girl
On Reaching Forty

I was also delighted to hear her actually sing parts of several spirituals that were the inspiration for the poem she wrote for Clinton’s inauguration.

Audiobook v
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Favorite poems:

In a Time
Song for the Old Ones
Phenomenal Woman
Still I Rise
A Good Woman Feeling Bad
Unmeasured Tempo
Caged Bird
Weekend Glory
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Lucas Sierra
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tanto la sabiduría como la ternura toman tiempo. Cuesta aprender a ser tierno, cuesta aprender a ser sabio. De ahí que en la buena poesía haya una condensación de edades, que los buenos poetas, incluso siendo jóvenes poetas, tengan el alma atravesada por las eras. Maya Angelou tuvo siempre la antigüedad de un continente, y cada palabra en su poesía está íntimamente atravesada de esa certeza. Leerla es permitirse escuchar, al ritmo de blues, la respiración de una tierra vieja, negra y fértil.

May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I don't really know how to write about poetry but I loved Maya Angelou's moving and powerful life's journey in this collection.
Asma Afreen
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
JD Estrada
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On more than one occasion I found myself reaching the end of a poem by Maya Angelou and needing to reread it because their ending took me by surprise. Beautiful, poignant, deep, layered.

Race is often present and so is femininity and the mysteries of living the life of a black woman with the power of words. It's definitely something that gets you thinking and offers a very different perspective of what life is and how it is lived. Many a time the words showed Angelou could touch the deepest of ou
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Elke de Echte
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Beautiful and powerful. Unquestionably. Although at times I must admit to have been completely at a loss… lost in Maya Angelou's imagery of words, that is perhaps too much colored and indebted to a social atmosphere strange to my own? Not that I am not in full awe for her genius as a true wordsmith: honest and heartfelt, artful but still full of grace, distinguishing a soulful rhythm – often like the blues – that makes you want to read some Poems aloud. Which one definitely should.
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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!

Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful collection of Maya Angelou's work I love this book! I read it whenever I need encouragement
Isabelle Smith
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jean Ramsay
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, poetry
It's strange coming to a book written by someone you know has died. It happens all the time, sure, but there's a strange weight that bears down on you when you read someone like Angelou, who is so vibrantly alive in her poetry, only to realise that she is not, in fact, alive anymore.

Angelou's poetry is collected in this book. I picked it up at a remainder bookstore in the city about three years ago, and figured it was about time I got around to reading it. I'd started it; there was still an old
1.25 stars. So here is the thing, I don't really read poetry. But I thought Maya Angelou, famous for her words.. maybe I can get into that. No. No, I can't. Now I fully admit, that I didn't understand a LOT of what I was reading so you can't really take my star rating as gospel on what the content of this book is. I read a few that landed with me but for the large majority, I was left looking around thinking WTF did I just read. Then, I forgot it all about as soon as I got finished reading it. I ...more
Barbara Brien
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I love hearing Angelou read "Still I Rise" so I grabbed this volume at the thrift store when I saw it. I enjoyed several other poems also, but some of the works just didn't speak to me. The good thing about poetry is that you don't have to like all of it to enjoy it.
A couple other notable poems that I enjoyed were "Wonder," "Phenomenal Woman," "One More Round," and "Family Affairs."
My favorite line was from "Wonder" - "Will I be less dead because I wrote this poem or you more because you read i
Nkandu Mukabe
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Maya Angelou's writing. I don't know what it is about her that just draws me in.
I had trouble getting engaged with a lot of the poems in this book, but I've always had issues with that so... *shrug*
The theme for most of the poems is pretty dark and bitter, which isn't really a surprise when you think of all the crap she went through, but its still very well written. A lot f my new favourite poems come from this book.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I was dying to like this, so much in fact I may have biased myself and raised my expectations unnecessarily high.
Unfortunately I could not connect with her style most of the time, although when I did it was beautiful.
Therefore I'll keep looking for pieces of her art that will touch me; no one said we must love all an artist does or none :)
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Maya Angelou is definitely one of my favorites poets. Here poems have so much rhythm to them: they just flow beautifully when read out loud. Four stars instead of four just because some poems weren't my favorite.
Miguel Vega
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection offers some of Maya's best and most beautiful piece of work. This woman has been through a lot, from heartbreak to a victim of racism, and she owned each and every experience and tamed that into her art.
Mario Brooks
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Raw, heartbreaking, inspiring, and beautiful.
Nichole Walker
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite.
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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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“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.” 337 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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