Love's Exquisite Freedom

Overview

The newest installment in Welcome Books' Art & Poetry series, Love's Exquisite Freedom pairs the lyrical grace of Maya Angelou with the exquisite art of Edward Burne-Jones. Angelou's poem of love's transcendent power finds a striking, sensual complement in Burne-Jones, a star of 19th century Britain's Aesthetic movement.  Burne-Jones continually examined themes of love, while persuasively arguing for the value of art as an object of beauty.  Fittingly, many of his works incorporate depictions of ...
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Overview

The newest installment in Welcome Books' Art & Poetry series, Love's Exquisite Freedom pairs the lyrical grace of Maya Angelou with the exquisite art of Edward Burne-Jones. Angelou's poem of love's transcendent power finds a striking, sensual complement in Burne-Jones, a star of 19th century Britain's Aesthetic movement.  Burne-Jones continually examined themes of love, while persuasively arguing for the value of art as an object of beauty.  Fittingly, many of his works incorporate depictions of angels in various guises: as manifestations of love, redemption, and guidance, even as the Roman god Cupid.

In Love's Exquisite Freedom, Burne-Jones' contention that art reveals a "a light better than any light that ever shone" is tempered by Angelou's naturalism and earnestness. The combination is an enchanting, powerful exploration of the redemptive quality of love and the unbidden pleasure of emotion. Works featured in the book are exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Harvard Art Museum, among others.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Readers expect superlative performances from celebrated writers and artists when they present new works to the public.  The most recent publication in Welcome Books' Art & Poetry series, Love's Exquisite Freedom, a love poem by Maya Angelou paired with artwor by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, exceeds those high expectations.  It is a treasure, a feast for eye and ear...Love's Exquisite Freedom is a glorious book, one destined to lift readers' spirits each time they revisit it."
- Foreword Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599621036
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 796,005
  • Product dimensions: 11.76 (w) x 9.86 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-) is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, she is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, historian, producer, actor, director, filmmaker and civil rights activist. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she was raised there and in Stamps, Arkansas. By the mid-50s, she had become a dancer, touring Europe with a production of Porgy and Bess, recorded her first album, Calypso Lady, acted Off-Broadway for the first time and wrote Cabaret for Freedom. In the 1960’s. she moved to Cairo and Ghana, editing, teaching and mastering a number of languages, returning in 1964  to America to work first with Malcolm X and then with Dr. Martin Luther King.

In the 1970s she wrote screenplays, composed scores, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize as a screenwriter, appeared on television and in films and published.  She is renowned for her series of autobiographies, the most famous being I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1970. The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction now includes more than 30 bestselling titles.

Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received 3 Grammy Awards. Dr. Angelou has received over 30 honorary degrees and is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) was a British artist and designer associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, who worked closely with William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts. His work was focused on ideals of beauty, and on art itself as an object of beauty.

Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in England where his work can be found in cathedrals.

Heavily inspired by Dante Gabriel Rossetti he was rediscovered in the 20th Century, and became the subject of  major exhibitions in the late 20th Century at the Barbican Art Gallery London , Tate exhibit and on the 100th anniversary of his death  at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998, before traveling to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

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

"Touched by an Angel"

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life.
 
Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
 
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light we dare be brave
And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.

- Maya Angelou

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