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Tinker

Marguerite Johnson, A Caged Bird No More

8 posts in this topic

Marguerite Johnson, A Caged Bird No More

Poet-writer, daughter-mother, civil rights activist, renaissance woman

--------------------------------------------------who Bailey called Maya.

on the stage she danced

--------------------as Angelou.

 

Lover of books, freedom and human dignity,

-------------------------refusing to step off the sidewalk,

---------------------------------------------------- but doing what she had to do

----------------------------------------------------------------------she lived life on her terms.

Read her words and listen to her song,

---- she shares her talent,

--------------------her intellect,

-------------------------and her passions

-------------- through her books,

Like her ancestors,

-------------- she has overcome.

 

Her eyes would see a new world free of hatred, selfishness and bigotry.

The globe is her home, Northern California her refuge.

 

Maya Angelou continues to rise,

------------------------ the voice of a people,

--------------------------------- the fulfilment of the slaves' dreams.

------------------------------------- ---Judi Van Gorder

 

Here is an attempt to write an example poem for another minor verse form The Bio Poem. The content inspired by my 10 year old granddaughter Trinity, who had to write a report on an African American for Black History Month and who chose Maya Angelou because Ms Angelou is a poet like Grandma. Of course Grandma helped her organize her thoughts and coached her oral presentation which included the readings from 2 Angelou poems. She got an A by the way.

 

The poem was further inspired by Luann, my best friend since 3rd grade who I told about Trinity's selection. Her response was that she met Maya Angelou many years ago at a Women's Conference. Luann, who is 6 feet tall was at a reception and she turned around to look a tall black woman square in the eye. The woman was dressed in red from head to toe. Luann's reaction was to cock her head, look the woman up and down and in appreciation with a smile on her face say, "Now that's a lot of red!" the woman laughed and said, "Yes I am." That is how my friend met Maya Angelou.

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Hi Tinker,

 

I love reading the anecdote in this post and the idea of the Bio Poem, which reminds me of Nick who used to write letters to friends in a poem form. I happened to have "Maya Angelou:Poems" as a gift to me by my friends, so I can certainly relate "a caged bird" and " I rise" to her poems. I read it as an ode to Maya Angelou.

 

Very much enjoyed.

 

Lake

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A fitting and wonderful tribute to an amazing woman and role model. Ms. Angelou would be flattered, I'm certain. Fine work, Tink!

 

mq

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Hi Tink,

 

It takes some courage to take a woman as well known as Maya Angelou and write a poem about her and you've accomplished this admirably. :D

 

 

A succinct portrayal of her vision and stance:

Her eyes would see a new world free of hatred, selfishness and bigotry.

The globe is her home, Northern California her refuge.

 

I too have read her work and find her poetry and prose inspirational.

 

So glad that your granddaughter, Trinity got an A. Your inspiration and encouragement went a long way in underpinning her well-deserved success. :D

 

 

Thank you for a fantastic read and the notes are very useful in giving a context to both Angelou and your poem.

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Hi Tink.

Poetry serves many purposes: none more worthy than those which uplift the human spirit to promote freedom, equality, dignity and decency. “Like her ancestors, she has overcome” are significant words which, when coupled with “The globe is her home” capture the full essence of your excellent poem.

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Very, very nice tribute, Tinker. I especially enjoyed "like her ancestors/she has overcome," the part about her home/refuge, and the part at the end about "the fulfillment of the slaves' dreams."

 

Tony

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Hi Lake or should I say Lucy? , Thanks, you spotted the lines from her poems instantly, I am impressed. The "caged bird" is pretty much a no brainer but the "I rise" not so easy.

 

Hi Tammy, Thank you for your kind words. It isn't the best I've ever written but it fits the form and it does pay some homage to an extraordinary woman.

 

Hi GL, I appreciate your thoughtful review of my work. Having read her autobiographies you know the tough life this woman led. It proves to me that our choices are as important if not more important than our environment. Raped by her stepfather at 7 years old, growing up a black girl in the deep South before the civil rights movement, single mom at 17, prostitution, poverty, prejudice.... and still she prevailed. She is an amazing woman.

 

Hi Geoff, I love that each person who read this focus on a different part of the poem. Thank you for commenting.

 

Thanks Tony, I wish I could take credit for "the fulfillment of the slaves' dreams" but that is from an Angelou poem although I think it very true.

 

~~Tink

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A truly deserving of your tribute and an admirable subject Maya Angelou. She always sounds so gentle a woman, splendidly done Tink.

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