Writing 201: Poetry Potluck
As most of you know I am now through a week of the Writing 201: Poetry course. Over the weekend we don’t get assignments to write, however this weekend we were asked to share our favourite poet and or poem.
I have to confess a terrible thing and that is that I gave up literature in school, because I had absolutely no ability to remember poems and one had to learn to recite them. From this point forwards poetry in the form of picking up a book never seemed to cross my path, it is only really since blogging and reading ‘other’ peoples poetry have I discovered the joy of this wonderful art.
So it made me blush to think that I had absolutely nothing to offer for this assignment, so I have been researching, digging around, seeing what calls to my attention.
I found Maya Angelou.
If you wish to read fully about her, please click here: Maya Angelou
From reading her history she is an utterly amazing woman, having ‘experienced’ the world in many a way that none of us will, certainly not on such a widespread level and accomplished so much in her lifespan.
What draws me to her in general is all of the above, her strength, her creativity, her sasiness and drive to make a difference for the positive in what she believes in.
As quoted by the Wikipedia:
She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of Black culture. Attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries, but her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide. Angelou’s major works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics have characterized them as autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family, and travel.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
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.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.