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Customer Review

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maya Angelou: Positive Encouragement for Young People., April 8, 2010
This review is from: Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou (Hardcover)
This book consists of 25 poems written by Maya Angelou, and it includes some significant choices for young people to find inspiration. Many of these poems discuss experiences that many people can relate to, but they also provide a sense of hope to all who read the selections.
Two of the most influential poems included in this book are "Still I Rise" and "Me and My Work." These poems are great inspirations for young adolescents, especially since most young people in this stage of development struggle with identity and finding their place in this world. "Still I Rise" is a poem that encourages young people to overcome obstacles and stand proud. Angelou writes, "Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise. I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise." Even though this poem is referring to the hope of a young slave, these words are inspirational for anyone overcoming an obstacle in life, and never losing hope despite the hardships.
"Me and My Work" is a poem about perseverance and hard work. This is a great poem for young people to read for them to gain appreciation for the work their parents do, and for them to understand that hard work and perseverance pay off. Angelou writes, "My story ain't news and it ain't all sad. There's plenty worse off than me. Yet the only thing I really don't need is strangers' sympathy. That's someone else's word for caring." These lines remind us that things could be worse than they are, and we should always be thankful for what we do have. Maya Angelou also reminds us that we should take pride in ourselves and our lives, and never to thrive on other's sympathy. Young people are often unhappy and want what they don't have, but they rarely acknowledge the situations that could be worse than what they experience.
This collection of poetry by Maya Angelou is inspirational, and it paints a picture for young people to see the positive side of situations. Adolescence is a tough stage in life and it is characterized by many changes and uncertainties, but Angelou's poetry can be used to encourage and hope in our young people.
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V. Ellis
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