Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour
×

:icontechgnotic: More from techgnotic


More from deviantART



Details

Submitted on
June 17
Submitted with
Sta.sh Writer
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
3,081 (12 today)
Favourites
72 (who?)
Comments
25
×












Maya Angelou


Safe At Last.












About Artists on Writers


•••



Writers will always find inspiration in the visions of artists, always feeling compelled to tell the stories behind the moments captured in artists’ unforgettable images,




Just as,




Artists will always find inspiration in the words of writers, always feeling compelled to lend visual reality and habitat to the characters described in the scribe’s haunting words.













Critics consider Maya Angelou’s most important writing to be her seven autobiographies, thinly disguised as novels, beginning with
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). The depiction of her childhood rape, compounded by institutionalized racism, which serves as the core of her first book, has resulted in the work being regularly banned by schools and libraries, yet praised as a lifesaving resource by rape victims and counselors.






Reading
I Know Why… has become almost a rite of passage for teenaged girls. Her mother’s boyfriend raped her. Maya told her brother about the assault. The rapist was arrested and found guilty. He served his sentence of one day in jail. Justice awaited him upon release. In four days he was killed. Maya’s uncles were suspected. Young Maya’s psyche was gravely affected. She became mute, unable to speak for the next five years, knowing her voice, her words, had the power to kill.












Her respect for “the word” would evolve into her becoming not only a particularly sensitive and acute witness and observer of her life and times, but a writer and poet whose voice has inspired and changed the lives of generations of the oppressed and the rebellious.She would come to be friends with other masters of the written and spoken word who “moved mountains” with their voices:Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin among others.


Maya went on to become a Renaissance woman of the working-class and lower depths of the Black American experience.Her resume reads as if written by Dante, but it’s accented throughout with the arts. Maya Anelou was a prostitute, but also a cast member of Porgy and Bess.She was a fry cook and a trolley-car conductor, but also a nightclub dancer and singer.In later life she became the Northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading organization in the American civil rights movement, and worked as a reporter doing dangerous duty in strife-riven Egypt and Ghana. She taught as a professor, received major recognition including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, and lectured internationally at colleges, churches and other venues incessantly, mostly about civil and human rights and poetry.It was as if she were making up for her years of being voiceless by never again allowing for even a moment’s silence when she could be continuing her conversation with her “prayer” for life.











An author of searing indictments against the injustices suffered by Blacks and the other groups of the American underclass, a firebrand activist during the Sixties, a radical feminist present at the birth of modern feminism, why is it that most Americans know of Maya Angelou only as “the poet” who read a poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration? The answer would seem to be that in all the things Maya did and in all of the roles she assumed, the label of “poet” has always been the safest choice for polite society. Unlike Europe and throughout the Arab world, in America “poet” means a frail old man in a sweater at the library rasping the lines of what might as well be a dead language. Poets are not dangerous and upsetting in American culture. Poets are safe. To call Maya Angelou simply a “poet” is a missed appreciation on the scope of her art and the power of her revolutionary spirit.












But what of Maya’s many volumes of poetry? Her poetry is as much about actual survival as it is about the beauty of the poem as art. American academics label her poems “African-American anthemics,” meaning they are often written to be more the scripts for pieces of audience-involving performance art known as “call and response,” rather than lines on a page to be delicately dissected for hidden meaning. Her Audio Books are where you will find the amazing power of Maya Angelou’s poetry, far more than reading lines on the printed page. It is her voice, in all that a voice can be, that distinguishes her art.







With her death, at 86, last week, her books of poems are now artifacts of her life, which was itself a living poem - a once raging fire that has now been extinguished but lives on in our memories, in her words and in her voice.







It seems appropriate on deviantART to say with conviction, live your life as Maya Angelou lived hers and if you can, speak as she did.














featured poems by maya








passing time by maya anagelou


•••





Your skin like dawn


Mine like musk




One paints the beginning


of a certain end.




The other, the end of a


sure beginning.



















I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings


The free bird leaps


on the back of the wind


and floats downstream


till the current ends


and dips his wings


in the orange sun rays


and dares to claim the sky.


But a bird that stalks


down his narrow cage


can seldom see through


his bars of rage


his wings are clipped and


his feet are tied


so he opens his throat to sing.


The caged bird sings


with fearful trill


of the things unknown


but longed for still


and his tune is heard


on the distant hill


for the caged bird


sings of freedom


The free bird thinks of another breeze


and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees


and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn


and he names the sky his own.


But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams


his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream


his wings are clipped and his feet are tied


so he opens his throat to sing


The caged bird sings


with a fearful trill


of things unknown


but longed for still


and his tune is heard


on the distant hill


for the caged bird


sings of freedom.


byMaya Angelou













And Still I Rise by maya anagelou


•••




















The Triumph Project


•••






:iconshadowedacolyte:

Some of us in Community Relations invite you to participate in a new Project in remembrance of Dr. Angelou, one that grew out of a suggestion by Aeirmid. Together, we'll be creating art about triumph, be it personal, societal, or even hypothetical. At the end of the project, all deviations will be featured. This isn't a contest; it is a way for us to use our talents, following Dr. Angelou's example, to enrich our community.


What counts as triumphant? That's up to you. It could be a non-fiction biographical account of an historic leader, or an autobiographical poem about a personal moment of triumph. It could be a painting that captures a victorious feeling, or a photomanipulation that tells a story of triumph. Start with the theme of triumph, and see where it takes you!


Check it out!














Questions For the Reader


•••



  1. Did you ever attend a lecture by Maya Angelou? If so, what are your memories of her passion and fight?



  2. Have you ever attended a poetry reading that turned into a genuine Call to Action or full-scale protest spilling into the streets?



  3. What are your impressions with how teachers and professors teach poetry, especially the poetry of radical revolutionary poets, in classes you have attended?



  4. Is the political or human message of a poem more important than a poem’s structure, or is the artistic crafting of the poem just as important?



  5. Are there living, working published poets today whose poems have inspired you?








Critics consider Maya Angelo’s most important writing to be her seven autobiographies, thinly disguised as novels, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). The depiction of her childhood rape, compounded by institutionalized racism, which serves as the core of her first book, has resulted in the work being regularly banned by schools and libraries, yet praised as a lifesaving resource by rape victims and counselors.

Writers: techgnotic 
Designers: h3ll0jason

For more artciles like this, visit depthRADIUS 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmaricoll:
MariColl Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what a wonderful tribute to Maya Angelou. Thank you for adding  my art. You did an  awesome job. :clap:
Reply
:iconlovelymars908:
lovelymars908 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
She was inspirational, alright. :) I read one of her poems in class. and it was the "Why the Caged Bird Sings" :)
Reply
:iconautumnangelart:
AutumnAngelArt Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
This is a well organized journal entry! Thank you for including my art piece. All the compositions together create an outstanding memoir. Hello,Goodbye..my butterfly You did a good job.
Reply
:icongladefaun:
GladeFaun Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll be honest and say when I heard about her death I had no idea who this woman was. Having read the above, and watched the video of her performing 'I Rise' I can understand the outpouring of grief her death prompted. Such a wonderful, spirited woman. For me, I think my first stop now has got to be her Calypso music - I'm intrigued.
Thank you all for the education.
Reply
:iconmonsterh2o:
MonsterH2O Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Good tribute to Maya, she was truly great. A one of a kind person, now gone forever. :(
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great tribute!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::clap::clap::clap::iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconwdmofficial:
WDMofficial Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Student General Artist
R.I.P, Maya Angelou. :'D
Reply
:icontarynnefdt:
TarynNefdt Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014   Digital Artist
While this is a well written tribute, it would have been nice/phenomenal for dA to feature an African American feminist writer and her perspectives on Maya Angelou.

Her poetry [Maya Angelou's] speaks to one on the feminist level and on the minority level - since I'm both, her work has an added depth to me. I really think Maya Angelou and Betty Friedan are two of the literary pillars of the feminist community.

I also don't think one should make a conceptual distinction between art and writing. Literature to me, is just another art form and instead of using pencils/pens/pastels to convey a message, one uses words. Writers use words, grammar and punctuation as tools to convey the dichotomy of life and artists do the same using pencil/pens/GIMP/Photoshop.
Reply
:iconsraffa:
SRaffa Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is one of the best written memoirs I've ever encountered-- the first four pages, all by themselves, leave you with no choice but to sit down and be amazed by every paragraph of it.
Reply
:iconboxxmannda:
BoxxMannDA Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
When I was younger I did a project in maya Angelou because she was a writer and even though now I'm more interested in the visual arts than I was with writing I still remember and hon our this great woman and didn't think this article would exist. It's nice to see that there are artist that visualize her work
Reply
Add a Comment: