Maya Angelou Poetry Analysis Essay

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A Critical Analysis of Maya Angelou 's Poems Maya Angelou is a well acclaimed poet, author, and civil rights activist. Though she passed away in 2014, her work continues to awe and inspire people worldwide. Angelou had written numerous poems, but in this analysis I will be focusing on “Caged Bird,” “Phenomenal Woman,” and finally “Touched by An Angel.” In these works we see her approach issues such as equality, racism, feminism, love and many more issues as well. Angelou is a very skilled poet; though some people find her work too straight forward and little more than common text broken into stanzas. Maya Angelou 's poems are easy to understand; and though I do enjoy her work, I find that how she structures her poems can be confusing…show more content…
She is comparing a free white person, the free bird, to a black slave; the caged bird. Angelou uses rhymes and repetition to show the meaning of her poem and to prove the point that she is making to her readers. This poem is all about the inequality and the violation of civil rights that black slaves had to go through (“Angelou, Maya. Caged”;“Skinner”;“Hagen”). Angelou often writes about inequality, but not just the inequality for African American people, but for women as well and the stereotypes that they face. This is potraied in Angelou 's “Phenominal…show more content…
This poem, like “Caged Bird” is also unstructured verse, and sporadic rhyme; this is very common of Maya Angelou 's work. This poem is extremely blunt in it 's working making it very easy to understand. “Phenomenal Woman” is all about being proud of who you are. What makes you special and noticeable is not the world 's standards of what you should look like but the confidence that you live by. The poem is almost like a list of characteristics that make the speaker a real woman. Some of the things that make her a real woman is “the reach of my arms” “The stride of my step” “ The sun of my smile” just to name a few. The speaker is obviously extremely confident in herself. I believe that Angelou is trying to express that she is so phenomenally woman because of how she expresses and views herself and does not let other people define her. The poem expresses that you are beautiful based on how you see yourself, not how the world sees you, and that your success is all in your confidence. This is expressed in some of the language she uses. “Now you understand-Just why my head’s not bowed.” “When you see me passing-It ought to make you proud.” She is just being wholly herself and that greatly contributes to her amazing success. She says how the pretty people ask her why guys always fall over her and she even states that the guys themselves do not understand why they are so drawn to her. “Men themselves have wondered-What they see in me.” “When I try to

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