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  • Ana Savković

Maya Angelou: Lessons and Challenges

Image: Unsplash, downloaded (8.6.2021.)

The Lesson

I keep on dying again. Veins collapse, opening like the Small fists of sleeping Children. Memory of old tombs, Rotting flesh and worms do Not convince me against The challenge. The years And cold defeat live deep in Lines along my face. They dull my eyes, yet I keep on dying, Because I love to live.

My Arkansas

There is a deep brooding in Arkansas

Old crimes like moss pend from poplar trees.

The sullen earth is much too red for comfort.

Sunrise seems to hesitate and in that second lose its incandescent aim, and dusk no more shadows than the noon. The past is brighter yet. Old hates and ante-bellum lace, are rent but not discarded. Today is yet to come in Arkansas. it writhes. It writhes in awful

waves of brooding.

Through The Inner City To The Suburbs

Secured by sooted windows

And amazement, it is

Delicious. Frosting, filched

From a company cake.

People. Black and fast. Scattered

Watermelon seeds on

A summer street. Grinning in

ritual, sassy in pomp.

From a slow moving train

They are precious. Stolen gems

Unsaleable and dear. Those

Dusky undulations sweat of forest

Nights, damp dancing, the juicy

Secrets of black thighs.

Images framed picture perfect

Do not move beyond the window


Strong delectation:

Dirty stories in changing rooms

Accompany the slap of wet towels and

Toilet seats.

Poli-talk of politician

Parents: “they need shoes and

cooze and a private

warm latrine. I had a colored


The train, bound for green lawns

Double garages and sullen omen

in dreaded homes, settles down

On its habit track.


The dark figures dancing

And grinning. Still


Source: And Still I Rise(Angelou, M. (2009.) And Still I Rise, London: Virago)



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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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