Assignment Maya Angelo: Maya Angelo was born on August 4, 1928, in SST. Louis . Writer and civil rights activist is known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman. In 1971, Angelo published the Pulitzer Prize-nominated poetry collection Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die. She later wrote the poem “On the Pulse of Morning”?one of her most famous works which she recited at President Bill Silicon’s inauguration in 1993.
Angelo received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards In the outstanding literary work nonfiction category, In 2005 and 2009. She died on May 28, 2014. Before she died she was an author, actress, screenwriter, dancer and poet. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson, Angelo had a difficult childhood. Her parents split up when she was very young, and she and her older brother, Bailey were sent to live with their father’s mother Anne Henderson in Stamps Arkansas. Longs Hughes: Longs Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. He published his first poem in 1921.
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He attended Columbia University, but left after one year to travel. Longs Hughes was an American poet, novelist, and playwright whose African-American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the asses. His poetry was later promoted by Vacate Lindsay, and Hughes published his first book In 1926. He went on to write countless works of poetry, prose and plays, as well as a popular column for the Chicago Defender. He died on May 22, 1967. Before he died HIS parents, James Hughes and Carrie Longs, separated soon after his birth, and his father moved to Mexico. While Hughes mother moved round during his youth, Hughes was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother, Mary, until she died in his early teens. Richard Blanch: Born on February 15, 1968, in Madrid, Spain, Richard Blanch, of Cuban heritage, immigrated to the United States and eventually worked as a civil engineer. He turned to writing and studying poetry and has become an award-winning author with books like City of a Hundred Fires and Directions to the Beach of the Dead. Blanch is America’s fifth inaugural poet, writing for President Barack Beam’s 2013 ceremony.
He’s also the first Latino, first immigrant, first openly gay and youngest person to be he Inaugural poet for the United States. HIS parents left Cuba after the rise of Flee Castro to power and traveled to Spain before moving to New York City when Blanch was an Infant. They eventually settled In Mall, Florida, as part of the area’s large Cuban community of the asses. Judith Rotor Coffer: was a young child her father’s military career took the family to Paterson, New Jersey, but she often spent her childhood traveling back and forth between Puerco Rich and the U.
S. At 15, her family moved again, this time to Augusta, Georgia, where she eventually earned a BAA in English from Augusta College. She later earned an MA in English from Florida Atlantic University and did graduate work at Oxford University. Rotor Coffer’s work explores the rifts and gaps that arise between her split cultural heritages. Her early immersion in both Puerco Rican and American culture has shaped her multi-genre approach, which includes works of fiction, prose, poetry, and sometimes a combination of the three.
Maya Angelo Poems: Still I rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my gassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Digging’ in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. 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. Longs Hughes Poems: Dreams Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.
For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. Mother to son Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me anti been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor? Bare. But all the time else been a-climbing’ on, And turning’ corners, And sometimes going’ in the dark Where there anti been no light. So, boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps. ‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now? For else still going’, honey, else still climbing’, And life for me anti been no crystal stair.
Richard Blanch Poems: One today One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores, peeking over the Smokiest, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies. One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story told by our silent gestures moving behind windows. My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors, ACH one yawning to life, crescendo into our day: pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights, fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows begging our praise.
Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper? bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us, on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives? to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did for twenty years, so I could write this poem. All of us as vital as the one light we move through, the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day: equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined, he “l have a dream” we keep dreaming, or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain the empty desks of twenty children marked absent today, and forever.
Many prayers, but one light breathing color into stained glass windows, life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth onto the steps of our museums and park benches as mothers watch children slide into the day. One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands s worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains mingled by one wind?our breath.
Breathe. Hear it through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs, buses launching down avenues, the symphony of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways, the unexpected song bird on your clothes line. Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling, or whispers across café© tables, Hear: the doors we open for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom, boon Giorgio, howdy, master, or Buenos aids in the language my mother taught me?in every language spoken into one wind carrying our lives thou prejudice, as these words break from my lips.
One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands: weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report for the boss on time, stitching another wound or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait, or the last floor on the Freedom Tower jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes tired from work: some days guessing at the weather of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love hat loves you back, sometimes praising a mother who knew how to give, or forgiving a father who couldn’t give what you wanted. We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always?home, always under one sky, our sky.
And always one moon like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop and every window, of one country?all of us? facing the stars hope?a new constellation waiting for us to map it, waiting for us to name it?together. Thursday AND if I loved you Wednesday, Well, what is that to you? I do not love you Thursday- So much is true. And why you come complaining Is more than I can see. I loved you Wednesday,-yes-but what Judith Rotor Coffer Poems: El Loved It is a dangerous thing to forget the climate of your birthplace, to choke out the voices of dead relatives when in dreams they call you by your secret name.
It is dangerous to spurn the clothes you were born to wear for the sake of fashion; dangerous to use weapons and sharp instruments you are not familiar with; dangerous to disdain the plaster saints before which your mother kneels praying with embarrassing fervor that you survive in the place you have chosen to live: bare, cold room with no pictures on the walls, a forgetting place where she fears you will die of loneliness and exposure. Jessјs, Maria, y Joss©, she says, el Olivia is a dangerous thing.