The Beauty of WordsInspired by Maya Angelou By Penny Walker February 28,2012 English 1102
The Beauty of Words Inspired by Maya Angelou• The works of Maya Angelo highlight the beauty that the printed word can convey. The imagery I notice in her words and the way she uses them bring the story to life whether in a poem or novel.• “Dr. Maya Angelo is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. A celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.” (mayaangelou.com/biography) Dr. Angelo has taken her humble beginnings and learned from every experience that has come her way. She has chosen to share a lot of those experiences with us through her writings and poetry.•
Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou• While reading her first novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I felt as if I were leaving with her and Bailey. Simply by the way she chose to use certain words. The simplest word can say so much when used in the correct manner to convey what the writer wishes to communicate. I grew up in the south and can remember most of the ways that she describes so vividly. Oprah Winfrey in an interview in O Magazine has said that “ Since the moment I opened I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I’ve felt deeply connected to Maya Angelo. With each page her life seemed to mirror mine: In her early years she was raised by her grandmother in the south; as a young girl she was raped; and like me she grew up reciting what church folk called little pieces-a few lines from the Bible that were usually delivered amid shouts and amens from the women fanning themselves in the front pews. Meeting Maya on those pages was like meeting myself in full. For the first time, as a young black girl, my experience was validated” (Winfrey, Oprah Winfrey)
The eloquence with which I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsis written so that you can relate it to your life at some pointno matter what race you maybe. In the book “Books ChangeLives” 1993-1994 Reading Promotion Campaign by MichaelThompson in the section Winning Essay and Letters, there isone written from an inmate enrolled in GED courses; “ Iknow Why The Caged Bird Sings, inspired me. In her book,there were three things that affected my life; these werethings such as growing up in the church, respecting oneanother, experiencing racism and desiring a good education.These things have made me a better person. I am not aboutracism any more .I am inspired by Maya to further myeducation and respect people. I believe in God and I pray.”(Thompson)She inspired this young person to be a betterperson. Words are all she used.
The words in that novel were put together like a fine painting andhave inspired most everyone to be better that they were beforereading. Could anyone have written the same novel and gotten thesame results? I don’t think so maybe a few but these were herexperiences so they meant enough to her to express them the bestway she knew how. Not only did I find myself enthralled by her imagery in mosteverything I have read by her, I find after completing that I have afresh awareness of just how wrongly people can treat each otherwithout realizing it. This has been I believe one of the biggestreasons she is so popular this day and time. She makes us thinkwithout preaching but with a down to earth wisdom that very few ofus take the time to nurture in ourselves. Dr. Angelo has done whatmost do not want to do. Get to know ourselves well enough that wecan accept what we see flaws and all.
I like to think of her work as a written conscience. “ take a day to healfrom the lies that have been told to us, and the ones we’ve toldourselves.” (Hutson)“These words of wisdom prompted theCommunity Healing Network to issue a Call to Healing and Renewal,to encourage people everywhere to put the work of healing at the topof their agendas. “ (Hutson) These words are powerful enough andso beautifully expressed that they breakthrough racial boundariesthat most everyone has in their mind a small bit, these words causea crack just big enough to make us aware of how wrong thoseboundaries are.
Ms. Angelo is not the only author that can inspirewith words; she is just theone I have chosen to do this research paper on.Many people inspire with words and never getinto print such as religious leaders, teachers,motivational speakers ,mentors really everyonecan inspire someone else but most of the time wedon’t take the time to think about what to say andjust use someone else’s thoughts.
“Perhaps Maya Angelou said it best in describinghow poetry works: We Humans are at our best when weenjoy poetry.... Sometimes all you need is toreflect in your mind one poem that says, ““I can make itthrough."(http://journeyofhearts.org/kirstimd/respoem.htm)
“Today, students at Wake Forest University arent the only ones whocan hear Maya Angelous inspiring words. One of Angelous friends isOprah Winfrey. Oprah got her own radio channel in 2006. She invitedAngelou to have a show on the channel. Angelou said yes. Nowpeople can tune in every week to hear Angelous thoughts and poetry.Every year, Maya keeps on building roads to help lead others to abetter future. Her words and example will inspire people far into thefuture.”(http://www.eduplace.com/kids/socsci/nc/books/bkd/wklyrdr/article5.shtml)I can only hope that by writing this paper it has inspired us tothink more about what we say and write or at least be moreaware of how words can harm or help.
Human FamilyI note the obvious differencesin the human family.Some of us are serious,some thrive on comedy.Some declare their lives are livedas true profundity,and others claim they really livethe real reality.The variety of our skin tonescan confuse, bemuse, delight,brown and pink and beige and purple,tan and blue and white.I’ve sailed upon the seven seasand stopped in every land,I’ve seen the wonders of the world,not yet one common man.I know ten thousand women
Called Jane and Mary Jane,But I’ve not seen any twowho were really the same.Mirror twins are differentalthough their features jibe,and lovers think quite different thoughtswhile lying side by side.We love and lose in China,we weep on England’s moorsand laugh and moan in Guinea,and thrive on Spanish shores.We seek success in Finland,are born and die in Maine.In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.I note the obvious differencesbetween each sort and type,but we are more alike, my friends,than we are unalike.We are more alike, my friends,than we are unalike.We are more alike, my friends,than we are unalike.By Maya AngelouI Shall Not Be Moved1990
Works Cited Pagemayaangelo.com / biographywww.oprah.com/omagazine/oprah interviewsBooks Change Lives by Michael Thompson; essay How MayaAngelou’s Childhood and Hardships Affected My Life by JimmieWilloughby, Medium Security Facility, Lorton Virginia.An evening with Dr. Maya Angelou…and friends By Tina Wynn/Judy Hutsonhttp://journeyofhearsts.org/kirstimd/resopem.htmhttp://www.eduplace.com/kids/socsci/nc/books/bkd/wklyrdr/article5.shtmlMaya Angelou- I Shall Not Be Moved; 1990 Random House