One fact about the poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is that she was born Marguerite Annie Johnson. Her professional name is a combination of her childhood nickname "Maya," which her brother Bailey bestowed on her, and the shortened nickname of her first husband Anastasios Angelopulos, a Greek sailor and aspiring musician. Angelou's most celebrated literary work was her autobiographical book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
A natural performer, Angelou attended the California Labor School where she won a scholarship to study acting and dance. She became pregnant her last year in high school, and a few weeks after graduation, she gave birth to her only son Clyde "Guy" Johnson. Angelou took a variety of jobs to support herself and her son. She even became the first black female cable car conductor in San Francisco, a position she held briefly before giving birth.
Angelou was a poet, songwriter, actor, dancer, historian, director, playwright, civil rights activist and teacher. She was friends with Martin Luther King Jr., who died on her birthday, prompting Angelou to stop celebrating her birthday. She wrote "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" after encouragement from her friend James Baldwin. She was also friends with Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey.Learn More
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways" is the opening verse in Sonnet 43 of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's collection "Sonnets From the Portuguese." It is Barrett Browning's most well-known work.Full Answer >
A caesura is used in Anglo-Saxon poetry to divide a line into two halves. It was used by Old English writers as part of the strong-stress, or accentual, metrical system and represents a pause in the middle of a line of verse that is used to break the rhythmic monotony. The "double pipes" ("||") are used as a symbol to illustrate the caesura when scanning lines of verse in poetry analysis.Full Answer >
The poem "Alone," by Maya Angelou, is written as the narrator's bedtime musings about life and its meaning. The poem's speaker is lying in bed thinking and searching for answers when she realizes she has the answer. She concludes that people need each other because no one successfully faces life alone.Full Answer >
Edgar Alan Poe's "The Raven" has several instances of onomatopoeia, including the words "tinkled," "shrieked" and "flitting." While some believe that the raven's call of "Nevermore!" in the poem was supposed to be an onomatopoeia, it does not actually resemble a real raven's call.Full Answer >