Maya Angelou - \"I've learned that people will forget what you said people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them

Maya Angelou - "I've learned that people will forget what...

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Unformatted text preview: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.“ -Maya Angelou PowerPoint By: Kenneth Brown BIOGRAPHY Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Johnson on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Molested at age 7 Became mute after molester died two days after trial Became teenage mother of a son First African American Streetcar Conductor She raised in both St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. Maya Angelou became one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. She had 50 honorary doctorate degrees. In the late 1950’s Maya Angelou joined the Harlem Writer’s Guild. Published in 1970, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings received international acclaim made the bestseller list. With more than 30 bestselling titles, Maya Angelou has written 36 books. In 1954 and 1955, Dr. Angelou toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. She studied modern dance with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on television variety shows and, in 1957, recorded her first album, Calypso Lady. Biography Continued She would later become close friends and work intimately with Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford to produce an album titled Been Found, featuring Ashford and Simpson’s vocals and Maya Angelou’s spoken word and released in 1996. Maya Angelou has won three Grammys: Best Spoken Word Album, Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album 1993 for On the Pulse of Morning, Grammy for Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album, 1995 for Phenomenal Woman, Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, 2000 for A Song Flung up to Heaven. In 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt where she served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer. The next year, she moved to Ghana where she taught at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times. During her years abroad, Dr. Angelou read and studied voraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti. While in Ghana, she met with Malcolm X and, in 1964, returned to America to help him build his new Organization of African American Unity. Biography Continued With a love for music, Maya Angelou would sing calypso, dance in night and supper clubs and eventually become known for her ability to write lyrics and perform spoken word. Collaborating with Quincy Jones she wrote lyrics for B.B. King in the film For Love of Ivy, a Sidney Poitier film. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Dr. Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King’s assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated. Received the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees. President Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993. Dr. Angelou’s reading of her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” was broadcast live around the world. Dr. Maya Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activities at Wake Forest University for more than 25 years. WOMAN The poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou explains the different details about a woman that makes her phenomenal. Dr. Angelou is telling a story of how this woman is feeling great about herself regardless of what others think. Throughout the poem she gives explanations and examples why no one seems to understand what it is that makes her attractive because she is not physically beautiful by society’s standards. So what makes this woman so appealing? The woman in this poem is appealing to others because of her inner beauty and how she feels about herself. It is not about how she looks on the outside nor is it about what makes her attractive to the opposite sex. Even other women notice there is a something about this woman but they don’t understand why because she does not portray what is considered beautiful just by looking at her. The poem opens up by saying “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size” She lets us know from the beginning that it is not her physical features that make her attractive. “Men themselves have wondered what they see in me. They try so much but they can’t touch my inner mystery.” This shows that it is not an actual feature that makes her attractive to men it is something that cannot be seen or touched; it is something that comes from within. “I walk into a room just as cool as you please, and to a man the fellows stand or fall on their knees. Then they swarm around me, a hive of honey bees. “This part of the poem shows that men do find her attractive and are drawn to her like bees to honey. Dr. Maya Angelou is very specific in describing the woman and some of the details do include the physical attributes of the woman (ANGELOU, 1995). Phenomenal Woman This poem reminds me of the struggles of a woman in everyday life in the fit to fit in society. A woman who now knows her self worth and is proud to be who she is, most importantly she is comfortable in her own skin. In the poem the woman has learned from her life experiences, encouraged by them and hopes that other women who are struggling can embrace that her beauty comes from within and they can triumph above life. Proving that the obstacles that have occurred in her life has no meaning because her simply being who she is incredible in itself. This poem is very moving and it is something that any woman can relate to and build self confidence by reading. Every man wants a “Phenomenal Woman.” STILL I RISE STILL I RISE In Maya Angelou’s collection's title poem, "Still I Rise,” was the center of an advertising campaign for the United Negro College Fund. In many ways, her experiences of violence and abuse are deeply entrenched in the narrative of black America, especially black womanhood. Her ability to detail these experiences with such lyricism has made her a legend. But so has her capacity to love, her willingness to forgive and overcome. Taken as a whole, they constitute a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten by anyone whose life she has touched. The message of “Still I Rise” is especially important in a social environment where violence against women remains pervasive, and where racial inequalities relentlessly poison the status quo. Although it speaks to systemic problems more broadly, the poem also emphasizes the individual strength needed to rise above these efforts to oppress, obscure and dehumanize (ANGELOU, 1980). STILL I RISE Wonderful, this poem reminds me the horrifying events of slavery and the impact after the abolition of slavery whereby the blacks were being segregated and entitled to less privilege. However through everything they still fought for equality. Nothing, no matter the consequences was going to stop their fight. This poem is very moving and has a very strong tone with meaning felt from within. It is a justifiable poem that tells a story of a people not just a race. I enjoyed reading this poem and can relate it to things happening right now in today’s society. Just one sign that we you have to take the voyage personal and believe that “Still I Rise.” TOUCH BY AN ANGEL In the first stanza it says that we are not accustomed to have courage and that we live in loneliness until love comes into our lives. We start remembering good times we had before and also the bad times. In the third stanza, it says that love takes away our fear. Love also takes our timidity. When we fall in love with a person, confidence begins to grow between the two. Then, you will notice that you have lost all the timidity you first had when you meet him or her. In the end of the poem it is said that love changes everything from us and we find out that only love can set us free. Love is everything to us and without it we are nothing. We should never be afraid to love(ANGELOU, 2011). Though at times, we tend to be hurt by the people we love, we need to be willing to accept the fact that we might be hurt and that it is part of loving. TOUCH BY AN ANGEL I chose this poem because it is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read. I think that many readers can relate to what it’s trying to say to us loving truthfully, how to allow ourselves to live freely, and to open our hearts to true love. Love is an emotion/feeling we all lone for. Therefore, this poem shows us a way to feel the love it in its rawest state. CONTEMPORARY ANNOUNCEMENT Ring the big bells, Cook the cow, put on your silver locket. The landlord is knocking at the Door and I’ve got the rent in my pocket. Douse the lights, hold your breath, take my heart in your in your hand. I lost my job two weeks ago and rent day’s here again. CONTEMPORARY ANNOUNCEMENT This poem is shorter then most of Angelou’s. Only two stanzas, it shows the conflicting attitudes toward the monthly payment of rent. The first stanza shows her working, living well, and paying rent without difficulty. In the second stanza, the narrator is out of work and unable to pay the rent. Contemporary Announcement is powerful for several reasons. First is the way it corresponds with Angelou’s life. Later in her life, while she was supporting her son, there were times between jobs when she struggled to pay her bills. Her solutions were varied and usually worked out. Sometimes she would end up going home, she found herself starting off her performing career in a strip club, to performing in cabarets. While Angelou worked as a cabaret singer, she and Guy (her son) moved frequently to follow the jobs. She writes, When the money was plentiful, we lived in swank hotels and called room service. At other times we stayed in boarding houses. I strung sheets as room dividers, and cooked our favorite food illegally on a two-burner hot place (ANGELOU 32). They say necessity is the mother of invention. Without the need to support her son, Angelou may not have found herself pushed in the many directions she was ultimately able to find success. This poem is powerful also because it gives a glimpse into a way of living that is transient. Not knowing if you are going to be able to pay your monthly bills, it is hard to have a sense of permanence. Without the sense of fitting into your environment it is difficult to have the strength to fight for your beliefs. While focusing on paying rent, an experience common across race and gender lines, it taps into the deeper sense of belonging (ANGELOU, 1981). CONTEMPORARY ANNOUNCEMENT While written in a direct manner of speech, the poem is still able to show the emotional toll that comes along with this unsure existence. This poem aligns with Angelou’s experiences, but is used as a tool to explore deeper issues. Many of my people may find themselves struggling with the month to month concern of paying rent and buying food. Because the experience written about in this poem is widely known, it provides an interesting gateway to exploring the connection between poetry and writing as a means of survival. After analyzing this poem, I was able to walk away with a deeper understanding of the emotional issues connected with the financial concerns they experience and those I am about to face as I enter into the workforce after graduation. WOMAN WORK The rhyme scheme throughout “Woman Work” is not constant. The first stanza consists of seven pairs of rhymed lines in the pattern AABB and so on. Since these lines are short and quick in nature, they create an impression of breathlessness in the reader’s mind, as if the woman has no time to pause between her various household chores if she is to complete them within the required space of a single day. The next stanzas are written in free verse, and that creates a more calming effect. I sensed reading this poem that tone of this poem the early part was written in a very tense mood, showing that the woman has a lot of heavy burdens to face(ANGELOU 1974). As you continue, to read the poem becomes more relaxed in its tone giving off the message that things are starting to fall in place and things are getting completed. WOMAN WORK “Woman Work” is a very domestic poem depicting the typical routine life of a woman who performs her daily chores effectively and then yearns for a fantastic break amidst the elements of nature to give her strength and comfort. I enjoyed reading this poem. As I read it vivid images of my grandmother came into my mind. The imagery of her made reading this poem easy to read a relate to. Maya Angelou has done a great job in captivating her readers in her wording in her poems. ON AGING The speaker is telling the listeners that they are incorrect if they assume that her life is over and done. Perhaps the activity level has decreased and/or slowed from years past; perhaps the conversation doesn't come as easily as it used to. This does not mean that the speaker needs assistance or company. It may simply reflect that the speaker has different interests than she/he formerly had. When you see me sitting quietly, Like a sack left on the shelf, Don’t think I need your chattering. I’m listening to myself. The speaker will accept "understanding" from others but wants no "sympathy" because none is needed. The activities may be slower or more awkward than in younger years, but they are still happening. The speaker wants listeners to understand very clearly that "tired don’t mean lazy." While the speaker's appearance, physical stamina, and other external abilities may have changed, “’I’m the same person I was back then’, still giving thanks for being alive and that fact that ‘I can still breathe in’ (ANGELOU, 2011). .” HUMAN FAMILY The meaning of the “Human Family” poem is a concept of similarities among the human race disregarding nationality, skin color, or way of life which make of us more alike species than different ones. This poem acknowledges the differences between our personal characteristics, ways of living, heterogeneity, and physical aspects, but remarks the similitude of the mankind prevailing over the differences. As established in the poem: “In minor ways we differ, in major we are the same,” tell us that the characteristics that make us unalike are just our color skin, life style, personal aspects, and way of thinking while the main features that equal us are kind of emotional and regarding to the feelings. We all love, fail, and laugh. We all born and once die, cry, and suffer. All of the mentioned before is not just what equal or denote us as a same whole, but what reflects the real meaning of the poem: “ We have more similarities than we have differences (ANGELOU,1975). HUMAN FAMILY I really liked this poem. It gives me sense of the society we are currently living in. We are now able to be of equal statue and enjoy some of the same things in life. The poem screams equality amongst everyone. It simply opens our that no matter what color we are we still bleed the same color blood, breath the same air, eat the same things, and edger to simply enjoy the finer things in life. Everyone wants to be accepted, loved and appreciated which means we are all on one common ground in our lives. ALONE “Alone” is written as the narrator's bedtime musings about life and its meaning. This poem comes off as a critique poem, and uses many different forms of literary devices. Maya Angelou used rhymes of a simple AB, AB pattern. “’With money they can't use’ (and continued with) ‘Their children sing the blues’. This poem includes personification when Angelou wrote in the first stanza: ‘Where water is not thirsty’. Repetition was used as well when she continuously used "alone" and "nobody". The poem also includes similes when she wrote ‘There are some millionaires’, ‘With money they can't use’, ‘Their wives run round like banshees’" because here she was correlating wives of millionaires to banshees. Dr. Angelou used alliteration when she said "alone all alone." Overall, Dr. Angelou points out that as independent and isolated one may seem to be, it is not possible for a human being to live in a would without other human beings, despite their success in life. (ANGELOU,1975). ALONE It's a good poem, but you don't have to live alone. You isolate yourself and tell people that you want to be alone, but you really don't. You can sometimes feel stuck and can't ask for help or anything, so you stay that way until the pain goes away and you are able to feel free again. It is important and healthy to have people to surround and uplift you. Being alone for a long period of time can cause all kind of issues. As often stated by elders, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” MEN In order for Dr. Maya Angelou to reach her main point, she uses figurative language in this poem. She used so many metaphors in this poem; an example of this is, "Wino men, old men. Young men sharp as mustard." Mustard, as everyone has tasted it knows, has a sharp taste. In this metaphor, I think Maya Angelou is comparing the taste of mustard to the appearance of the men that walk past the woman’s window. The appearance of the men may be elegant and showing off. Another example of a metaphor that she used was when she said," Their shoulders high like the breasts of a young girl." Here she is comparing the breasts of young girls to the shoulders of men. They have nothing in common, but Maya Angelou says both are high. The shoulders of the men may be high because they are proud and self-absorbed and think they are the best thing in the world. The breasts of young girls are high because that is the nature of things. The metaphor that struck me the most was when she said, " one day they hold you in the palms of their hands, gentle, as if you were the last raw egg in the world." Here Maya Angelou is comparing the way that the men held the speaker to the way people hold an egg due to their delicateness(ANGELOU, 1981). She is describing how the men touched her in her first sexual experience. MEN From just the title I expected the poem was going to be about. “Men.” I just thought it was going to be about a woman or the speaker saying all the flaws that men have. I read the poem in its entirety. I realized my prediction was wrong. The poem is actually about the speaker's lust or desire for men. She looks at them from a window. She "starves" for men. The gravitational pull that she first felt towards men takes a pause as she realizes that men do not look into her what she looks into them. She then restarts that lust for men as she still has hope to find men looking for the same thing she is. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings This poem describes her first seventeen years. She became a mother at seventeen. She was born into a society that did not accept African Americans as equals. She fought for Civil rights. In the first stanza Maya describes what the caged bird sees. The bird looks outside at the beauty. The caged bird sees a free bird doing as it pleases. In the second stanza the Maya describes the life of the caged bird. This is how she feels. The caged bird only knows the world inside his cage. Even if the bird were free he is still unable to fly. His wings are clipped and his feet are tied. In the third stanza the bird is singing. At first it is a fearful trill. The bird sings for freedom. This bird longs to be free. In the fourth stanza the bird is imagining what freedom is like. The bird can see the worms. He can feel the breeze against his wings as he flies. In the fifth stanza the caged bird is living a nightmare. He only escapes when he sings. The singing gives this bird hope. The sixth stanza repeats that the bird sings for freedom. This poem reflects the life of African Americans in early America. They struggled for freedom. This poem displays her early childhood. She struggled as a child. As an African American there were so many barriers against them. African Americans dreamed of freedom. But th...
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