The Complete Poetry by Maya AngelouThe Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou

The Complete Poetry

byMaya Angelou

Hardcover | March 31, 2015

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The beauty and spirit of Maya Angelou’s words live on in this complete collection of poetry.

Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelou gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. Now the beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.
Every poetic phrase, every poignant verse can be found within the pages of this sure-to-be-treasured volume—from her reflections on African American life and hardship in the compilation Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Diiie (“Though there’s one thing that I cry for / I believe enough to die for / That is every man’s responsibility to man”) to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in the poem “Still I Rise” (“Out of the huts of history’s shame / I rise / Up from a past that’s rooted in pain / I rise”) to her “On the Pulse of Morning” tribute at President William Jefferson Clinton’s inauguration (“Lift up your eyes upon / The day breaking for you. / Give birth again / To the dream.”).
Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry also features her final long-form poems, including “A Brave and Startling Truth,” “Amazing Peace,” “His Day Is Done,” and the honest and endearing Mother:
“I feared if I let you go
You would leave me eternally.
You smiled at my fears, saying
I could not stay in your lap forever”
This collection also includes the never-before-published poem “Amazement Awaits,” commissioned for the 2008 Olympic Games:
“We are here at the portal of the world we had wished for
At the lintel of the world we most need.
We are here roaring and singing.
We prove that we can not only make peace, we can bring it with us.”
Timeless and prescient, this definitive compendium will warm the hearts of Maya Angelou’s most ardent admirers as it introduces new readers to the legendary poet, activist, and teacher—a phenomenal woman for the ages.
Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning, and Mother. Maya Angelou died in 2014.
Title:The Complete PoetryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.52 × 6.6 × 1.12 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0812997875

ISBN - 13:9780812997873


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Maya Angelou is an incredible woman. Her poetry is relatable and great to make you think about privileges and preconceptions.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Resonates Deeply I think her work is amazing and a great way to understand the life of such an inspiring individual. She touches on a lot of emotional topics, especially those stemming from her experiences as a Black woman and it is unbelievably poignant. You can feel the depth of the emotions. Her words are powerful and will continue to live on, even now that she has left us.
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very weak Read Robert Hayden or Jay Wright instead.
Date published: 2016-12-22

Read from the Book

They Went Home     They went home and told their wives,                that never once in all their lives,                had they known a girl like me, But … They went home.   They said my house was licking clean,                no word I spoke was ever mean,                I had an air of mystery, But … They went home.   My praises were on all men’s lips,                they liked my smile, my wit, my hips,   they’d spend one night, or two or three. But …       The Gamut     Soft you day, be velvet soft,                My true love approaches, Look you bright, you dusty sun,                Array your golden coaches.   Soft you wind, be soft as silk, My true love is speaking.                Hold you birds, your silver throats, His golden voice I’m seeking.   Come you death, in haste, do come,                My shroud of black be weaving, Quiet my heart, be deathly quiet,                My true love is leaving.       A Zorro Man     Here in the wombed room silk purple drapes flash a light as subtle as your hands before love-making   Here in the covered lens I catch a clitoral image of your general inhabitation long and like a late dawn in winter   Here this clean mirror traps me unwilling in a gone time when I was love and you were booted and brave and trembling for me.       To a Man     My man is Black Golden Amber Changing. Warm mouths of Brandy Fine Cautious sunlight on a patterned rug Coughing laughter, rocked on a whorl of French tobacco Graceful turns on woolen stilts Secretive? A cat’s eye. Southern. Plump and tender with navy-bean sullenness And did I say “Tender”? The gentleness A big cat stalks through stubborn bush And did I mention “Amber”? The heatless fire consuming itself. Again. Anew. Into ever neverlessness. My man is Amber Changing Always into itself New. Now New. Still itself. Still.       Late October     Carefully the leaves of autumn sprinkle down the tinny sound of little dyings and skies sated of ruddy sunsets of roseate dawns roil ceaselessly in cobweb greys and turn to black for comfort.   Only lovers see the fall a signal end to endings a gruffish gesture alerting those who will not be alarmed that we begin to stop in order simply to begin again.       No Loser, No Weeper     “I hate to lose something,”                then she bent her head, “even a dime, I wish I was dead. I can’t explain it. No more to be said. ’Cept I hate to lose something. “I lost a doll once and cried for a week. She could open her eyes, and do all but speak. I believe she was took, by some doll-snatching sneak. I tell you, I hate to lose something.   “A watch of mine once, got up and walked away. It had twelve numbers on it and for the time of day. I’ll never forget it and all I can say Is I really hate to lose something.   “Now if I felt that way ’bout a watch and a toy, What you think I feel ’bout my lover-boy? I ain’t threatening you, madam, but he is my evening’s joy. And I mean I really hate to lose something.”       When You Come to Me                  When you come to me, unbidden, Beckoning me                To long-ago rooms, Where memories lie.    Offering me, as to a child, an attic, Gatherings of days too few,                Baubles of stolen kisses, Trinkets of borrowed loves,                Trunks of secret words,    I CRY.       Remembering   Soft grey ghosts crawl up my sleeve to peer into my eyes while I within deny their threats and answer them with lies.   Mushlike memories perform a ritual on my lips I lie in stolid hopelessness and they lay my soul in strips.       In a Time   In a time of secret wooing Today prepares tomorrow’s ruin Left knows not what right is doing My heart is torn asunder.   In a time of furtive sighs Sweet hellos and sad goodbyes Half-truths told and entire lies My conscience echoes thunder.   In a time when kingdoms come Joy is brief as summer’s fun Happiness its race has run Then pain stalks in to plunder.       Tears   Tears The crystal rags Viscous tatters of a worn-through soul.   Moans Deep swan song Blue farewell of a dying dream.         The Detached   We die, Welcoming Bluebeards to our darkening closets, Stranglers to our outstretched necks,                          Stranglers, who neither care nor                          care to know that                          DEATH IS INTERNAL.   We pray, Savoring sweet the teethed lies, Bellying the grounds before alien gods,                          Gods, who neither know nor                          wish to know that                          HELL IS INTERNAL.   We love, Rubbing the nakednesses with gloved hands, Inverting our mouths in tongued kisses,                          Kisses that neither touch nor                          care to touch if                          LOVE IS INTERNAL.         To a Husband   Your voice at times a fist                Tight in your throat Jabs ceaselessly at phantoms                In the room, Your hand a carved and                Skimming boat Goes down the Nile                To point out Pharaoh’s tomb.   You’re Africa to me                At brightest dawn. The Congo’s green and                Copper’s brackish hue, A continent to build   With Black Man’s brawn. I sit at home and see it all                Through you.