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Another remarkable collection of poetry from one of America's masters of the medium. The first part gathers together poems of love and nostalgic memory, while Part II portrays confrontations inherent in a racist society.
Under the Cover
An excerpt from Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie
Where Love Is a Scream of Anguish
They Went Home
They went home and told their wives, that never once in all their lives, had they known a girl like me, But … They went home.
They said my house was licking clean, no word I spoke was ever mean, I had an air of mystery, But … They went home.
My praises were on all men’s lips, they liked my smile, my wit, my hips, they’d spend one night, or two or three. But …
Soft you day, be velvet soft, My true love approaches, Look you bright, you dusty sun, Array your golden coaches.
Soft you wind, be soft as silk My true love is speaking. Hold you birds, your silver throats, His golden voice I’m seeking.
Come you death, in haste, do come My shroud of black be weaving, Quiet my heart, be deathly quiet, My true love is leaving.
A Zorro Man
Here in the wombed room silk purple drapes flash a light as subtle as your hands before love-making
Here in the covered lens I catch a clitoral image of your general inhabitation long and like a late dawn in winter
Here this clean mirror traps me unwilling in a gone time when I was love and you were booted and brave and trembling for me.
To a Man
My man is Black Golden Amber Changing. Warm mouths of Brandy Fine Cautious sunlight on a patterned rug Coughing laughter, rocked on a whorl of French tobacco Graceful turns on woolen stilts Secretive? A cat’s eye. Southern. Plump and tender with navy bean sullenness And did I say “Tender”? The gentleness A big cat stalks through stubborn bush And did I mention “Amber”? The heatless fire consuming itself. Again. Anew. Into ever neverlessness. My man is Amber Changing Always into itself New. Now New. Still itself. Still.
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.