Customer Reviews: Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on September 29, 2006
I have never written a review, I'm the person who always reads but never writes. I saw that this book didn't have 5 stars average so I had to review it. Becoming a mother is the most miraculous and blessed thing that has ever happened to me - most Mothers will agree. This book pulled at my heart as it captured that love between me and my Son so perfectly. I read this book and cry every time. I will buy this book for each of my friends as they have their first children. Never has a book been so meaningful to me.
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on July 13, 2006
If you have followed Dr. Maya Angelou in all the years that I have followed her work since younghood, you may not get what is happening here. Maya has claimed her rights of passage from youth to a seasoned mature adult who has stood the test of time, survived all obstacles and is still standing. A book any longer than 10 pages would not resemble the message of this great poet of our time. Perhaps, it is a silent protest we know nothing about and never will. Dr. Maya Angelou is 78 years old. If she writes another full book it will take all she can give. She is well to all who see her, but to friends and family, we see that gloss in her eye, the slowness of her stride these days, and will power to talk when in pain. We must treasure these moments and wish Dr. Maya the strength to keep going until she is one hundred. She was meant to span a century and is deserving of peace, plenty of rest and I hope everything her heart desires in life and even it is just to still be admired for her work as a poet. This is the MAYA we know and love. THIS WOMAN'S WORK! is meant to be written as her destiny has been planned. Can you imagine carpal tunnel syndrome, an aching leg from being one of the greatest dancers, all of those movies she's produced...people she's helped, speeches she's completed and places she's traveled, not to mention her struggle for the intellectual rise of Black people in this nation. She paved the way for so many and like Jesus who was admired and than cast and stoned, I am routing for Dr. Maya to not have to succumb to society's way of destroying the ambition of successful Black Americans. Dr. Maya Shall NOT be moved. Listen, be wise and learn from MOTHER. I see a message, but one has to stand very still and LISTEN!!!!!
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on June 21, 2006
Motherhood is colorblind, but it's especially apt that the 78-year-old Maya Angelou sings praises for The Beleaguered Black Mother. Not only is the content delicious, but the unpaginated 10-page slender vanilla volume is elegantly designed. Rather than plow through a tome of childhood psychology, the reader gains four minutes of insights on mothering from birth through emancipation as an adult. Cliches are rescued by gems such as "nougats of glee" and "from my high perch of teenage wisdom." This is sentimentality at its best. How could it be otherwise, Dear Mother!
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on May 21, 2006
The book description is 32 pages, but I counted only 10 pages (printed singe-sided) with one poem on each page so that makes ten poems. And this goes for $9.95 not including shipping and taxes. Hmmm....

I like much of Maya Angelou's works, but I could barely read through all the poems, and consquently the entire book (which took all of 5 minutes). The poems were not particularly good, elegant, or insightful.

Well, I'm just plain shocked that Random House and Maya decided that ten short poems constituted a book.
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on January 17, 2007
I checked out this book from our public library because I was intrigued by the notion of a tiny "book" the entire content of which is one, short poem by one of our country's most famous writers. In addition to her autobiographical works, Maya Angelou has published five volumes of poetry, and has read her work ("On the Pulse of Morning") at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. There is no foreword, preface, afterword, bibliography, or any explanatory notes to "Mother," just the brief poem itself. If you did not stop to ponder and meditate, you could read the poem in five minutes. But that would be a shame. Angelou's poem evokes the grace and power of our mothers, and our experience of them beginning as babies, then proceeding through childhood, teenage rebellion, and then adulthood. My mother died a year ago and Angelou's poetry renewed my gratitude and admiration for her.
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on May 11, 2006
This book is truly beautiful. As a mother it warmed my heart to know that a strong women like Maya would write a book like this. "Perfect for Mother's Day"
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on May 13, 2013
"...I loved you even during the years
When you knew nothing
And I knew everything, I loved you still.
Condescendingly of course,
From my high perch
Of teenage wisdom.
I spoke sharply of you, often
Because you were slow to understand.
I grew older and
Was stunned to find
How much knowledge you had gleaned.
And so quickly.

Mother, I have learned enough now
To know I have learned nearly nothing.
On this day
When mothers are being honored,
Let me thank you
That my selfishness, ignorance, and mockery
Did not bring you to
Discard me like a broken doll
Which had lost its favor.
I thank you that
You still find something in me
To cherish, to admire and to love.

I thank you, Mother.
I love you."

The above is an excerpt from the last two pages of this little book given to me as a Mothers' Day CARD "because every word fit" by my near 19-year old daughter a week before she returns from her first year away at college. In reading it, I realized that there were many reasons for the tears of joy rapidly escaping my eyes as I carefully read each word.

That she still enjoyed the gifts I had introduced to her at an early age -poetry, strong females (Maya Angelou) and the written word; that she has realized at only 19 that not only am I not an idiot but that even though my life included more than just her, she was nonetheless the most important thing in my life and has an inkling of how cherished she has been. Best of all, the words that fit so well show that she loves me deeply as I always hoped she would once she reached "adulthood".

Oh and Maya's poetry is simple, succinct and beautiful as always!
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on June 29, 2014
I haven't had a chance to read the book as of yet but I understand that the reviews on the book is great. Plus it is written by the late great Dr Angelou so that's a thumbs up regardless. I will post further remarks when I read the book.
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on April 9, 2008
Written by Maya Angelou as a personal and touching Mother's Day salute, this tiny volume of poetry will truly make every day Mother's Day for any woman who reads it, be she a mother or a daughter. In a mere ten pages of text, the author traces and illuminates the complex mother/daughter relationship from conception ("I was created in were created for me") through clinging, fretful babyhood, the turbulent teen years and adult understanding.

My favorite lines:

You were always
The heart of happiness to me,
Bringing nougats of glee,
Sweets of open laughter.

Angelou's little book is a gift to delight.

by Patricia Nordyke Pando
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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on August 26, 2013
Ok, if I fill up this space, my review will be about as long as the book. This is at the same time personal to Dr. Angelou and also to this female reader, as I find myself reading and rereading it because of the emotions it helps me explore. If you've read her autobiographical novels, you'll better understand the feelings she expresses and be surprised by the tenderness evoked. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the young character, Maya, does not have a close relationship with her mother, but there are overtones of hero-worship present and they do become closer as Maya ages, as usually happens when women reach adulthood. We gain an understanding of our parents as individuals who have struggled, worked, and sacrificed for us. It is that more enlightened relationship that Dr. Angelou writes of in Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me. The book elicits a tenderness and gratitude without being sentimental, which is why, after buying one for myself, I also purchased one for my mom on Mother's Day.
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