Ms. Gloria Estrada
18 October 2011
A Summary and analysis of the poetry of Maya Angelou
Several critics declared Maya Angelou poems to be superficial and devoid of her
celebrated humor. Other reviewers however, praise her poetic style as refreshing
and graceful. Angelous reputation is very popular among young people, most
commentators reserve their highest praise for her pose. The dependence on
alliteration, her heavy use of short lines, and her conventional vocabulary is what
has made her poetry intriguing. Angelou addresses many social and political issues
relevant to African American challenges on the validity of traditional values and
myths. The one poem “On the Pulse of the Morning”, is about recognition of the
human failings pervading American history and a renewed national commitment
to unity and social improvement.
Sienkewicz, Thomas J., Identities & Issues in Literature.
Data base: Literary Reference Center Retrieved from: http://0-web.ebscohost.com.lib.
epcc.edu/lrc/detail?Sid=28bfsid7-3730-486b-abc7-68fff5_ _ . 10/15/2011
Most of Maya Angelou’s poetry complements the search for self-identity as an
African American women in her poetry. Angelou often focuses on the oppression
of African Americans. The poetry she writes describes things like welfare,
mothers, prostitutes and drug pushers. The female African American experience
plays a powerful part in her poetry. She writes about a slave mother dreading the
approaching sale of her children. Angelou’s Childhood in Stamps, Arkansas,
helps her write about Southern slave experience of her African American
ancestors. She also uses the vocabulary and slang of African American English. A
very important theme that Maya Angelou uses is Africa. She lived in Ghana for 4
years. Angelou takes pride in black inhabitants and finds a certain beauty to... [continues]
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