Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

The Detached - Poem by Maya Angelou

We die,
Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets,
Stranglers to our outstretched necks,
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Comments about The Detached by Maya Angelou

  • (12/21/2008 12:18:00 PM)


    For me, this is my favorite poem from Maya Angelou from what i have read of her so far.
    I think it can be taken many ways but for me it means that the most important feelings come from inside, and can be controlled inside.

    You can be dead inside and alive outside, so death is something we can bring upon ourselves, and internal death is much worse than external death, it could possibly be the only death. If we stretch our necks to stranglers inside, we can be our own stranglers, but for me it also means that no one can kill you but yourself, which is a comforting thought because the only death that matters is internal and people outside who try to break you down can't.
    'stranglers, who neither care nor
    care to know that...' For me this talks about the complete disregard of humanity and it's nature, who are likened to pirates and murderers trying to slowly kill us (there is an undertone of a slow process) , however they haven't got enough self-respect to realise that what their doing is pointless, for death is internal. These peolple don't think about the consequences or the reasons, they just eat away at people for themselves which says something about their state of mind. I believe it is also saying that breaking other people down and trying to cause other peoples internal deaths is a biproduct of the stranglers and bluebeards internal deaths.

    The second stanza also speaks the same thing but is saying that people talk about God and they try and hide lies, and beg for forgiveness, but hell being internal means that they need internal forgiveness and an internal peace and truth that they eventually cannot hide from themselves. Internal hell which, as maya angelou may be trying to say, is worse than the hell of the Gods, and it is more important to be real with yourself.

    This last stanza is the most uplifting in my opinion. There is no love if there is no internal love. So no one can love you if you don't love yourself; and so many people in society try and look for this external love in the wrong way-constant sex and relationships, and external love is nothing compared to internal love. I also think it has an undertone of exposing the soul eroding consequences and pointlessness of promiscuity: 'gloved hands, inverting, tongued kisses, neither touch nor care to touch if' everything has a barrier, unable to reach the inside properly, even though it tries. The 'neither care to touch' part makes me think that they aren't wanting internal love, they don't want to love themselves they just want to try and receive it from an external place which is the wrong way to love and the wrong use of relationships. The most important relationship is the one with your soul.
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  • (7/14/2008 9:01:00 AM)


    I have a feeling, reading this poem that perharps, we hide so much of the actaual reality inside ourselves and so even beauty, is unseen. (Report) Reply

  • (3/31/2008 3:28:00 AM)


    why are u so internal..what bout the external world..? (Report) Reply

  • (11/21/2007 8:15:00 AM)


    Funny! ................................. (Report) Reply

  • (6/19/2005 6:01:00 PM)


    Maya, if this is YOU.....you are my inspiration and such a treasure of a human being....beautiful words mistress. (Report) Reply



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