Maya Angelou

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The poem `and still I rise` was written by Maya Angelou in the 1960’s in America. During which time the black civil rights movement was very prominent and Dr Angelou was a very prominent part of it. Coming off the back of years of slavery of her people due to there skin colour and years of oppression she herself may have faced due to her gender Dr Angelou had a lot to say. The poem `presents from my Aunt in Pakistan` was written by Pakistani born poet Moniza Alvi who currently resides in London, England. The poem’s main theme is confusion and the feeling of being split between two cultures. She writes about this as she is originally Pakistani but moved to our country at a very young age due to her family being invited over not only to help rebuild our country but to escape the danger she faced in her own. The main theme of Alvis poem is the feeling of confusion she has as she thinks she is of no set culture and race emphasised in phrases such as `longing for corduroy and denim` which are both big symbols of western culture. One could also argue that the poem is also about racism due to phrases such as ‘my school friend didn’t like my salwar kameez` which could be seen by some as a hint toward racism and prejudice. Another way we see that Alvi is confused is through the disorganized, almost messy way she has written the poem, with no rhyme and set line length it gives the reader a sense of confusion which is undoubtedly what she feels. In stark contrast Angelous’ poem shows no such confusion with an abcb rhyme scheme and a set line length all of the way through it becomes obvious to the reader that Angelou knows exactly what she wants to write and how she wants to write it. The main theme throughout the poem is prejudice, whether racist or sexist, and is made obvious through phrases like `from out of the huts of histories shame` a reference to the incredibly awful conditions the slaves would have had to endure in the plantations they would be forced to work on,...
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