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Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou Hardcover – January 1, 2013
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
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About the Author
For more than 50 years, Dr. Edwin Graves Wilson has been a much-admired educator at Wake Forest College, from which he graduated before going on to receive his MA and PhD from Harvard University. He has served as Provost at Wake Forest, as well as Dean of the college and Senior Vice President, and also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Campbell University. Wilson has served on many councils and boards, including the Carolina Arts Council, Piedmont Opera Theatre, and Museum of American Art.
Jerome Lagarrigue won the Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe award for best new talent and the Ezra Jack Keats award for best illustrator for Freedom Summer (Simon & Schuster). He was also awarded the Miriam Vanett Ridgway award for best illustrator for My Man Blue, published by Penguin, and was the recipient of the prestigious Villa Medicis grant and residency program in Rome.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
My advice to the reader is to not read all of the poems at once. Take the time to read them one at a time, and then sit in a quiet place with tea and chocolate and listen to Dr. Angelou's voice.