Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer [NOOK Book]

Overview

Grace, dignity, and eloquence have long been hallmarks of Maya Angelou’s poetry. Her measured verses have stirred our souls, energized our minds, and healed our hearts. Whether offering hope in the darkest of nights or expressing sincere joy at the extraordinariness of the everyday, Maya Angelou has served as our common voice.

Celebrations is a collection of timely and timeless poems that are an integral part of the global fabric. Several ...
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Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

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Overview

Grace, dignity, and eloquence have long been hallmarks of Maya Angelou’s poetry. Her measured verses have stirred our souls, energized our minds, and healed our hearts. Whether offering hope in the darkest of nights or expressing sincere joy at the extraordinariness of the everyday, Maya Angelou has served as our common voice.

Celebrations is a collection of timely and timeless poems that are an integral part of the global fabric. Several works have become nearly as iconic as Angelou herself: the inspiring “On the Pulse of Morning,” read at President William Jefferson Clinton’s 1993 inauguration; the heartening “Amazing Peace,” presented at the 2005 lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House; “A Brave and Startling Truth,” which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations; and “Mother,” which beautifully honors the first woman in our lives. Angelou writes of celebrations public and private, a bar mitzvah wish to her nephew, a birthday greeting to Oprah Winfrey, and a memorial tribute to the late Luther Vandross and Barry White.

More than a writer, Angelou is a chronicler of history, an advocate for peace, and a champion for the planet, as well as a patriot, a mentor, and a friend. To be shared and cherished, the wisdom and poetry of Maya Angelou proves there is always cause for celebration.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Here on the pulse of this new day / You may have the grace to look up and out / And into your sister's eyes, into / Your brother's face, your country / And say simply / Very simply / With hope / Good morning." The final lines of Maya Angelou's 1993 presidential inaugural poem might serve as a badge for this entire book. Simplicity, grace, and dignity are the hallmarks of Celebrations, which collects the author's most recent poetry, both public and private.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307777928
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/7/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 267,534
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Maya Angelou
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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

As a chronicler of her own story and the larger civil rights movement in which she took part, Maya Angelou is remarkable in equal measure for her lyrical gifts as well as her distinct sense of justice, both politically and personally.

Angelou was among the first, if not the first, to create a literary franchise based on autobiographical writings. In the series' six titles -- beginning with the classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and followed by Gather Together in My Name, Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas, Heart of a Woman, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, and 2002's A Song Flung Up to Heaven -- Angelou tells her story in language both no-nonsense and intensely spiritual.

Angelou's facility with language, both on paper and as a suede-voiced speaker, have made her a populist poet. Her 1995 poem "Phenomenal Woman" is still passed along the Web among women as inspiration ("It's in the reach of my arms/The span of my hips/The stride of my steps/The curl of my lips./I'm a woman/Phenomenally/Phenomenal woman/That's me"), and her 1993 poem "On the Pulse of the Morning," written for Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration, was later released as a Grammy-winning album.

Angelou often cites other writers (from Kenzaburo Oe to James Baldwin) both in text and name. But as often as not, her major mentors were not writers – she had been set to work with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. before each was assassinated, stories she recounts in A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

Given her rollercoaster existence -- from poverty in Arkansas to journalism in Egypt and Ghana and ultimately, to her destiny as a successful writer and professor in the States – it's no surprise that Angelou hasn't limited herself to one or two genres. Angelou has also written for stage and screen, acted, and directed. She is the rare author from whom inspiration can be derived both from her approach to life as from her talent in writing about it. Reading her books is like taking counsel from your wisest, favorite aunt.

Good To Know

Angelou was nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Nyo Boto in the 1977 miniseries Roots. She has also appeared in films such as How to Make an American Quilt and Poetic Justice, and she directed 1998's Down in the Delta.

Angelou speaks six languages, including West African Fanti.

She taught modern dance at the Rome Opera House and the Hambina Theatre in Tel Aviv.

Before she became famous as a writer, Maya Angelou was a singer. Miss Calypso is a CD of her singing calypso songs.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Margeurite Johnson
      Maya Angelou
    2. Hometown:
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 4, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Education:
      High school in Atlanta and San Francisco

Read an Excerpt

A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH

Dedicated to the hope for peace, which lies,
sometimes hidden, in every heart.

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth.
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
When we come to it

When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lay them in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in a good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And our children can dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of sexual abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into
Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother
Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurtures all creatures in their depths and on their shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade,
and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people, on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Can come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet

Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That, in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing,
irresistible tenderness,
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, we are the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when,
We come to it.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Taylors Bio

    Taylor L. Stevens ( Not real name) <p> Gender: Male <p> Eyes: Deep Blue w/ black rings ( yes real, weird i know) <p> Hair: brown&blonde <p> Skin: White <p> Likes: Brown or red long hair and green or brown eyes <p> State: Washington <p> School: Middle School

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Zoey bio

    My bios at bdk res one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Winds bio

    Name. wind. looks. black hair in a braid. Shes wearing a strapless dark blue bikini top with the same color bottoms. Persona. Just wants to have fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Amazing

    I found this book sitting o a shelf in my home, so I decided to read it. I loved it! The poems really made you think. They were very touching. I highly recommend this to everyone, whether you enjoy poetry or not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    R.I.P.

    Time to celebrate your life.May you REST IN PEACE IN PEACE MS."ANGEL"OU.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Bella

    D.amn straight.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Christmas Tree & DJ

    This is the Christmas tree. It is 15 fox-lengths tall! It is decorated with flowers and berries of many hues. There are also old TwoLeg lights on it. At the very top, there is a star. Below the Christmas Tree is the DJ! Old Twoleg sterios produce sound to blast over 100 tree-lengths far. The cats can request songs here ((first come first serve!!!)) We need an active, organized cat to be the DJ! If you think you're fit for the job, step right in. But if you do badly I'll have to ask you to leave the job of the DJ.

    ~€loudstar

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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