Unique Lives - Maya Angelou - May 10, 1999


This is by no means a complete write up, but since I reference her in my intro to the web site I am building I feel I need this page. Maya Angelou had one message, "Read African American poetry!" I love poetry. I have read traditional male poems (yes, look at the gender of most poets in mainstream collections). I read a great book on women's poetry called Love's Witness that was edited by Jill Hollis. I took Maya's Advice and went to the library for some collections of African American poetry. I found several I like and memorized my favorites. The one I like the most follows. It is what I remember most from Maya's lecture and the effect it had on me.

Your World

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Your world is as big as you make it.

I know for I used to abide

In the narrowest nest in the corner,

My wings pressing close to my side.


But I sighted the distant horizon

Where the skyline encircles the sea

And I throbbed with a burning desire

To travel this immensity.


I battered the cordons around me

And cradled my wings on the breeze

Then soared to the uttermost reaches

With rapture, with power, with ease!