She was raped, had a son at age 17, and had one of her closest friends assassinated on her birthday. Yet, despite all of these terrible things she is still one of the most inspirational American poets to ever live. Maya Angelou uses the misfortune from her life to her advantage in her poetry because it causes her to write very passionately on topics she has personally gone through, and how she continues to be a strong woman and stay confident in herself. Poet Maya Angelou’s writing was created to inspire hope and confidence in the face of conflict, particularly for African American women. This theme is shown clearly in three of Angelou’s poems, “Phenomenal Woman”, “Still I Rise”, and “Million Man March Poem”.
Maya Angelou has faced many difficult events which has helped her to reach a deeper connection with messages in her poetry, and how to keep her head up when going through hard things in life. Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. When she turned 3 she went to live with her grandma in Stamps, Arkansas where she started facing discrimination based on her skin color. At age 7 she went through the traumatizing event of being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, and she then stayed mute for five whole years. According to The Poetry Foundation during that time she found her passion for literature, and with the help of her friend Mrs. Flowers, she learned more about poetry, the importance of education, and then eventually started speaking again (Maya Angelou). As she grew up, Angelou had a child coming out of high-school and led the hard life of a single mother and a waitress trying to support her child.
Later on as an adult, Maya studied abroad in Europe, there mastering many different languages while also contin...
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... with courage, need not be lived again.” (Maya Angelou-Biography).
Hagen, Lyman B. "Defense of Maya Angelou Against the Critics." Bloom's Literary Reference
Online. Facts On File News Services, 1997. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
Hagen, Lyman B. ""Still I Rise" and the Black Spiritual "Rise and Shine""Bloom's Literary
Reference Online. Facts On File News Services, 1997. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Lupton, Mary J. "Maya Angelou: A Critical Companion." Google Books. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1 Jan. 1998.
Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
"Maya Angelou - Biography." Maya Angelou - Biography. Dr. Maya Angelou, 2014. Web. 14
"Maya Angelou." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
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