I Shall Not Be Moved

Poems

Buy
  • Share

Copy and paste the below script into your own website or blog to embed this book.

The best selling author presents a new collection of poems. This new volume of poetry captures the pain and triumph of being black and speaks out about history, heartbreak and love.

Under the Cover

An excerpt from I Shall Not Be Moved

WORKER’S SONG
 
Big ships shudder
down to the sea
   because of me
Railroads run
on a twinness track
    ’cause of my back
    Whoppa, Whoppa
    Whoppa, Whoppa
 
Cars stretch to a
super length
    ’cause of my strength
Planes fly high
over seas and lands
     ’cause of my hands
     Whoppa, Whoppa
     Whoppa, Whoppa
 
I wake
start the factory humming
I work late
keep the whole world running
and I got something … something
coming … coming.…
     Whoppa
     Whoppa
     Whoppa
 
HUMAN FAMILY
 
I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.
 
Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.
 
The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.
 
I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and 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 two
who really were the same.
 
Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.
 
We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and 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 differences
between 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.
 
 
MAN BIGOT
 
The man who is a bigot
is the worst thing God has got,
except his match, his woman,
who really is Ms. Begot.
 
 
OLD FOLKS LAUGH
 
They have spent their
content of simpering,
holding their lips this
and that way, winding
the lines between
their brows. Old folks
allow their bellies to jiggle like slow
tamborines.
The hollers
rise up and spill
over any way they want.
When old folks laugh, they free the world.
They turn slowly, slyly knowing
the best and worst
of remembering.
Saliva glistens in
the corners of their mouths,
their heads wobble
on brittle necks, but
their laps
are filled with memories.”
When old folks laugh, they consider the promise
of dear painless death, and generously
forgive life for happening
to them.
 
 
IS LOVE
 
Midwives and winding sheets
know birthing is hard
and dying is mean
and living’s a trial in between.
 
Why do we journey, muttering
like rumors among the stars?
Is a dimension lost?
Is it love?
 

- About the author -

Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Heart of a Woman, she wrote numerous volumes of poetry, among them Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, On the Pulse of Morning, and Mother. Maya Angelou died in 2014.

More from Maya Angelou

I Shall Not Be Moved

Poems

Buy

I Shall Not Be Moved

— Published by Random House —