Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Maya Angelou
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(born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) was an American author and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie.

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Quotations

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  • ''There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in black women. It's as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet.''
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author. interview broadcast, Nov. 21, 1973. "A Conversation with Maya Angelou," Conversations with Maya Angelou (1989).
  • ...there is a difference between being convinced and being stubborn. I'm not certain what the difference is, but I do know that if you butt your head against a stone wall long enough, at some point yo...
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author and performer. As quoted in Reel Women, part 4, by Ally Acker (1991). Said in 1979, on giving up her attempt t...
  • ''...talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it.''
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author and performer. Black Women Writers at Work, ch. 1, by Claudia Tate (1983).
  • ''I thought if war did not include killing, I'd like to see one every year.''
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928), African American author and performer. Gather Together in My Name, ch. 1 (1974). On the sense of "festival" in the San Fra...
  • ''Self-pity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.''
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author. Gather Together in My Name, vol. 2, ch. 6 (1974).
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  • Rookie - 441 Points Karan Pratap Singh (1/10/2015 3:33:00 PM)

    Indeed a great poet. I read her phnenomenal woman. It's my all time fav.

  • Rookie - 54 Points Grace Moneymaker (12/23/2014 6:07:00 PM)

    She was a great poet. Although I haven't read much of her poetry, I'd say 'Phenomenal Woman' is my all-time favorite. Any criticism is just nonsense.

  • Rookie - 0 Points Jaime Goldblatt (12/21/2014 11:15:00 PM)

    To A Poemhunter, Who Would Praise Certain Bad Poets, Imitators Of The Art

    You say, as you have often given tongue
    In praise of what another's said or sung,
    'Twere politic to do the like by these;
    But was there 'er a dog that praised a flea
    As awful as Angelou?
    Quattro of five cento?
    Phenomenally Ridiculous
    Quattro of five cento?
    Not by work or base-born product,
    Only by dint of birth.
    Shame and scorn on you.
    Huntsman Rody blow your horn,
    This hound can hunt no more.

  • Rookie Pat O'kennedy (11/28/2014 3:16:00 PM)

    Has the talent and skill of good poets. These poems are a joy to read.

  • Rookie - 58 Points Ali Baba (11/20/2014 10:47:00 AM)

    nice

  • Rookie - 58 Points Ali Baba (11/20/2014 10:33:00 AM)

    i agree

  • Rookie - 58 Points Ali Baba (11/20/2014 10:26:00 AM)

    I agree too

  • Rookie - 58 Points Ali Baba (11/20/2014 10:25:00 AM)

    Nice poem

  • Rookie - 2 Points Aysegul Avcu (11/18/2014 4:14:00 AM)

    I agree

  • Freshman - 2,215 Points Melikhaya Zagagana (10/27/2014 9:23:00 AM)

    We have lost a True mother, she is such an example and a great poetess.

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