"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sharing Maya

For literature Tuesday this week I thought I would share Maya. I have mentioned before that she is my idol. When I was a kid - lost and trying to find my way - Maya saved me. She showed me that women could be strong and scared at the same time. She showed me that honesty is always the best option. She showed me that I could dream and succeed and triumph. She gave me strength.

I devoured everything she wrote. But in the end this poem, the first poem, is my favorite. I also read the book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which always helps me remember that even when I think life unbearable, it could be worse and I will survive.

I finally broke down and asked for a Nook this Christmas and I was lucky enough to receive it. I have always been a "book" person. I love them - the pages, the type, folding the corner neatly, writing notes in the margin - the experience of reading a book. On the other hand, it is difficult to carry all the books I love with me all the time, to read while waiting for an appointment, to read at lunch, to read on the train. This allows me to always have all the books I want in a format small enough to carry in my purse - plus I can watch movies, update facebook, and if I wanted to, write my blog. I decided on the Nook over the Kindle not because of any specific feature or the price because each device is primarily the same. But, if I have a problem with the Nook (which is completely possible since technology is moving faster than my brain can keep up) I can just go to the Barnes & Noble and get help, instead of trying to figure it out while on the phone with a tech person. I digress, but the point is, I have added a lot of Maya to my "wish list."

There are certain authors whose work I can read over and over again. Maya is one of them. Every time I open the book it is like a childhood blanket or those really comfortable shoes you just can't throw out. And at the same time, I always find something new.

She made me want to write, to paint pictures with words. She can get to the bare bones of pain on one page ..... and create a world of hope on the next. And I now intend to read it all again.

So, for today I share with you Maya ..... my idol!

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Leann for your recent comment on my blog. As always, I appreciate your comments as well as your blogs - and I did enjoy this one about Maya Angelou. Like you there are authors I too can read and re-read - and always feel inspired, refreshed and often humbled. Steinbeck is probably my favourite. And like you - I could not now do without my Kindle (although I have to say I still like the real feel of a book - especially those I treasure!).
    I'll let you know how the house improvements are developing. This afternoon Pat and I are off to the cinema - to see the Meryl Streep's (my favourite actress) film of Margaret Thatcher (my "unfavourite" lady!). At least a couple of hours in the warm of the cinema and away from the drilling and hammering of the builders might refresh us! Keep well.