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Maya Angelou

In researching poet, Maya Angelou, I was able to explore her personal life, as well as her writing styles and techniques. While she is an extraordinary individual, she portrays a strong independent woman capable of holding her own. A great experience in learning about Angelou, the project itself I found to be rather droll. Having to find criticism about one of the worlds greatest poets, was extremely difficult. The assignment was also time consuming, and I found myself often wondering why everything needed doubles. While the information gathered for this project focused on Maya Angelou was engaging, the task in analyzing the poet rather than the poetry, was prolonged and monotonous.

Maya Angelou is one of the universe’s most controversial poet. Her fascinating life experiences and thoughts translate beautifully onto paper, and her literary elegance captivates many. In the assignment given, it was asked that two pieces of literary criticism were found. When researching such a profound writer, it was impossible to find complete critical analyses of Angelou’s work. The only thing that was found were rotten comments on a forum, or a general summary of a poems meaning.

Undertaking this assignment was very tedious, for even after finding some sort of “analysis”, it was asked that one write their own poems. This was very difficult for it was difficult to decipher what was really being asked. The expectations were not clear in the way where one should have been writing like their chosen poet, or to write as themselves. Either way, the poems produced in my own assignment, were just thoughts on paper. While Angelou has no set schemes in her work, the self-fabricated poems made, were also set up the same.

While it is believed the more that is researched, the more that is known, how this was conveyed in this project was not straightforward. Everything that was assigned, needed to have two or more examples. Whether one chose to look up two biographies and two literary analyses, or two literary analyses and original poems, the duplication in finding two examples was unnecessary. The message could have been depicted through one example each. Finding the information grew to be mundane, and how all of the details found would be gathered into one essay was perplexing. While I believe finding two biographies would be vital if one were to be writing a biography on the poet, It’s almost pointless when you must narrow down the information into a paragraph. Same for the literary analysis. The original poems written almost had nothing to do with the project, which didn’t make much sense.

Learning about Maya Angelou was enlightening, and this project allowed me to view her work in a different light. She is able to shine a strong light on herself that sets her apart from the rest. Unfortunately, this assignment didn’t allow more of an assessment on one poem, for one paragraph is not enough to correctly articulate her notions. The project could have been absolutely successful if it had not repeated so many steps in finding the same information in separate places, or writing irrelevant and original poems. In the future, an essay based solely on one poem by an author, with only a paragraph of biographical information would benefit the student. This would allow oneself to look more into the poets techniques, schemes, and deeper meanings.

An inspirational woman is that who embraces her times of turmoil and converts them to a learning lesson. She does not fear smiling in order to cheer up another person even if inside she is hurting. This woman does not allow gender, age, or race to hinder her from exploring life just like other people who are more privileged compared to her. This inspirational woman is remembered for her encouraging words that no one should live life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; however, one should be able to throw some things back.

Drawing from her wise, honest, and persevering attitude, Maya Angelou is a phenomenon woman who is my inspiration. Maya Angelou endured sexual abuse, racial discrimination, and other impediments but she remained humbled around cultural, family, and community values. Maya Angelou was one of the most successful author, poet, and civil rights activist who were admired universally by many. She was famously known for her teachings using poetry and spoken word, which highlighted the experiences of being an African-American woman leaving in the United States.

Most of her works were also inspirational which helped to shape the modern-day prose and poetry (Haigh 1). The same kind of zeal and motivation that Maya exemplifies has helped me to handle any kind of challenge that I encounter and make it work for me, but not against me. When I saw Maya Angelou’s painting at the Charles H. Wright Museum, I began pondering whether Maya ever knew she would end up on exhibits, television shows, Broadway stages, traveling the world and being able to speak five languages fluently. It dawned on me that Maya being a proud woman helped her to become a motivator, but not her being a motivator that made her a proud woman. This character and charisma expressed by Maya inspired me to embrace where I have come from since it would have an impact on where I want to go (Haigh 2). Maya encouraged and inspired generations through her works and she brings out the meaning of the fact that age is just a number.

Read more: Who do you admire essay

Maya’s inspirational lessons remain an intrinsic part of the American culture even after her death in 2014 at the age of 86. Maya’s most inspiring poem, And Still I Rise, had a very significant passage that said, “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise” (Angelou 21). This passage inspired me to always endure every hardship and obstacle in my quest of achieving my ambitions since everyone else also experiences setbacks that help them grow. Most people usually perceive that in order to have a motivator in one’s life you have to know the person personally; however, that is not the case.

I believe that if a person inspires you without even having met the person in your life, it is an unparalleled gift. Angelou is a significant motivator among women and inspires them to always live their lives open-heartedly and be able to learn, and retain as much as they can and make a difference in someone else’s life. This is because “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” (Angelou 24).

Works Cited
Angelou, Maya. “Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.” 3 January 2003.Thousands of Poems and Poets. Web. 4 February 2015. Haigh, Chris. 12 Inspiring Life Lessons From Maya Angelou. 6 April 2009. Web. 4 Februay 2015.


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