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I Shall Not Be Moved

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Overview

The best selling author presents a new collection of poems. This new volume of poetry captures the pain and triumph of being black and speaks out about history, heartbreak and love.

Maya Angelou's poems have been called "marvelously lyrical" Library Journal. Here is a beautiful way for fans to collect and treasure her works. Simultaneous hardcover reissue by Random House.

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I Shall Not Be Moved

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Overview

The best selling author presents a new collection of poems. This new volume of poetry captures the pain and triumph of being black and speaks out about history, heartbreak and love.

Maya Angelou's poems have been called "marvelously lyrical" Library Journal. Here is a beautiful way for fans to collect and treasure her works. Simultaneous hardcover reissue by Random House.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Angelou's poems embrace opposite poles: the laughter of old folks who ``generously forgive life for happening to them,'' and the ``helpless hope'' on the faces of starving children. Though she can be directly political, as in a stinging letter to ``These Yet to Be United States,'' more often, a political dimension emerges naturally from ordinary lives observed with keen irony (``Even minimal people can't survive on minimal wage''). Angelou's themes include loss of love and youth, human oneness in diversity, the strength of blacks in the face of racism and adversity. The book's title is also the refrain of ``Our Grandmothers,'' a moving history poem about the struggles of black women. Some of these lyrics are free-form, while others use conventional rhyme and meter to good effect. Angelou ( I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ) writes with poise and grace. Author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Angelou speaks eloquently of black life, unfolding a significant history in poems that are highly controlled and yet powerful: ``She lay, skin down on the moist dirt,/ the canebrake rustling/ with the whispers of leaves, and/ loud longing of hounds and/ the ransack of hunters crackling the near branches.'' Here, the language is precise and filled with imagery. Like Gwendolyn Brooks, Angelou's poems are sparsely written while still revealing painful truths to the reader: ``She stands/ before the abortion clinic,/ confounded by the lack of choices./ In the Welfare line,/ reduced to the pity of handouts.'' An important new collection from one of the most distinctive writers at work today.-- Lenard D. Moore, Writer-in-Residence, Wake Cty. Arts Council, N . C .
School Library Journal
Angelou's fifth book of poetry conveys the complexity, richness, exuberance, and tragedy of the black experience in language that is personal, pithy, and immediate. ``I shall not be moved'' is the haunting refrain from the poem ``Our Grandmothers, '' a pledge of moral courage referring to the most heartfelt stand from which one will not budge. It is a majestic poem about the immense pain of history and the moral stamina needed to remain true to oneself. In other poems, Angelou's style varies from the lighthearted fun of ``Seven Women's Blessed Assurance,'' to the clever wordplay of ``Man Bigot,'' to the inspiring pathos of ``Ailey, Baldwin, Floyd, and Killens.'' Funny, reflective, illuminating, and honest, the poems in this slim volume possess the drama of the storyteller and the imagery and soul of the poet. --Jacqueline Gropman, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553354584
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 570,600
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.23 (d)

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.

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

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