"On the Pulse of Morning"
By: Maya Angelou
"On the Pulse of Morning," is a poem written by Maya Angelou. In this poem, Angelou depicts personification. Personification is an element of
literature in which an object or an animal is given human characteristics.
Angelou uses personification to give the rock, the river, and the tree the
ability to speak to the reader.
In "On the Pulse of Morning", Angelou writes " But today, the rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my back and face your distant destiny, but seek no haven in my shadow." In this, personification is given to the rock, implying that it can "cry out". It gives the illusion that the rock is talking to the person and telling them that it is there for the person to use as "ground" to stand on, but not as a shield. The rock says that he is there to help fight, but not to hide the person from their destiny.
Angelou also writes "Yet, today I call you to my riverside, if you will study war no more. Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs." With this she personifies the river. The river is saying that it will sing a song, peaceful song, to help the person forget about war, racism, etc. It is saying that it wants to be there to keep them calm and help them through all the hard times that they will be faced with, and that if they just listen to it, they will be guided to peace.
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"They hear. They all hear the speaking of the tree. Today, the first and last of every tree speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river. Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river," is another form of personification used by Angelou. The tree is also talking to the people, asking them to "plant" themselves beside it. It is saying that it is there to hold the person up, to be used at strength, something to lean against, in order to fight away all the hatred in the world. It is there for the person if they