Check Out Black Pearls: The Poetry Of Maya Angelou

Black Pearls: The Poetry Of Maya Angelou Review

Black Pearls: The Poetry Of Maya Angelou Overview

Black Pearls: The Poetry of Maya Angelou opens with the poet reading hard words: "No, the gap-legged whore on the eastern shore, enticing Europe to come into her"; "kneeling mothers picking undigested beans from yesterday's shit"; and "what a pity, the pity has folded in upon itself." The poet's rawness of vision and power seem capable of moving mountains. Some 30 years ago, when these words were recorded, Angelou was fierce, vital, justifiably angry. All this may not jibe with the weeping you did in junior high when you read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It may not mesh with your vision of the gentle, elegant lady you know as the highly visible mentor and friend to Oprah Winfrey and the first-term inaugural poet to President Clinton. Yet know this: Angelou, a speaker of truth, not only survived cruel injustice but used words to burn through it and come to grace. As she says, "My crime is that I live to tell," and we desperately need her trespass in order to live with what we know and are unable to give voice to. --Paige La Grone

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