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Maya Angelou's Eone in the Poem

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Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis on April 4, 1928. Maya Angelou was known as a terrific performer, editor, filmmaker, educator, and has had many influences throughout her lifetime. What Maya knew best though, was to write. Angelou was influenced by hardships, other writers, religion, and the African American community. Maya faced many barriers that tried to stop her from succeeding but, otherwise made her stronger. She learned to speak six different languages, she taught American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. She more than 30 honorary degrees from other universities. She was known to her students and followers as Dr. Angelou but, she in fact never earned a university degree. Maya quote ‘you may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. 

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She's basically saying instead of thinking “I created myself, she thinks about how she has I have taught myself so much. She’s known by her students and followers as Dr.Angelou. Angelou was raped at a young age by her mother’s new boyfriend, Freeman. Freeman told Maya, he would kill her beloved brother, Bailey if she told. Freeman was charged and sent to prison. She felt responsible because she testified against him, and felt her “voice” kill him. Angelou remained mute for over 4 years. After Maya endured all of the hardships, in 1970 she wrote, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Maya deals with the difficulty of being a little black girl in a time when the world was dominated by white people. 

She expresses her realization of this white supremacy when she says “I was going to look like one of the sweet little white girls who were everybody’s dream of what was right in the world.” Maya’s poems demonstrate similes, repetition, metaphors, and more. Maya Angelou's tone in the poem “ Still I Rise” incorporates elements of symbolism and the tone she uses provides strength, support, and inspiration to women that aren’t believing in themselves. Maya provides strength throughout the poem without saying she would give up. Her tone is defensive but, she's voicing her defense on how women need to support each other. 

Maya conveys her style writing with the usage of literary devices, symbolism, tone, and vocabulary. All of these elements combine together into creating an amazing poem that conveys the natural writing of Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou writing style is genuine life, for freedom and for a spirit of success. Maya Angelou was always a very compelling poet, to those women out there that need a voice to lift them up and make them shine again. The difficulties Maya faced in her childhood forced her to not show weaknesses. Maya’s very independent because she wasn’t able to rely on anyone in particular throughout her life. It’s only been herself. The difficulties of life from Maya Angelou and her work are completely intertwined. Maya’s rough and eventful life helped her produce beautiful inspirational writings. Maya lived an adventurous life with failed marriages, some drug use, prostitution, and a journey on trying to find a “home”, that place where she belonged. 

Pound was born in a small mining town in Idaho, the only child of a Federal Land Office official, Homer Loomis Pound, and Isabel Weston. Around 1887, the family decided moved to the eastern states, and in 1889, Homer Pound’s appointment to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia was appointed, they settled nearby Wyncote. Pound lived a typical middle-class childhood. Pound became known as an American poet and critic. He was a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement. “T. S. Eliot declared that Pound 'is more responsible for the twentieth-century revolution in poetry than is any other individual.' Four decades later, Donald Hall reaffirmed in remarks collected in Remembering Poets that 'Ezra Pound is the poet who, a thousand times more than any other man, has made modern poetry possible in English.'

Pound’s contribution to poetry began with as the development of Imagism began. Imagism was an English and American movement. Imagism was obtained from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry. An aesthetic philosophy of stressing clarity, precision, and resources of language. Pound collected in his Literary Essays as 'A Retrospect,', he explained his new literary direction with Imagism combining the creation of an 'image'. Ezra defined the 'an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time' or an 'interpretative metaphor' as the precise requirements on writing. These are known as principles of Imagism: '1) Direct treatment of the 'thing' whether subjective or objective 2) To use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation 3) As regarding rhythm: to compose in sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome.' 

These were known as the essentials of Imagism, according to Pound: 1) To carefully observe and describe phenomena, whether emotions, sensations, or concrete entities, and to avoid vague generalities or abstractions. Ezra desired to 'explicit rendering, be it of external nature or of emotion,' and proclaimed 'strong disbelief in the abstract and general statement as a means of conveying one's thought to others.' 2) To avoid poetic diction in favor of the spoken language and to condense content, expressing it as concisely and precisely as possible. 3) To reject conventional metrical forms in favor of individualized cadence. 

Each poem of Ezra Pound declared that rhythm 'which corresponds exactly to the emotion or shade of emotion to be expressed.' Olive Senior is a Jamaican poet who was born on December 23, 1941 in Western Jamaica. Her poetry often conveys her displeasure of colonization and the suffering Caribbean people endured. Her poem “Meditation on Yellow” explores the colonization and exploitation process carried out by the Europeans. This poem strong conveys Senior discontentment as it relates to the exploitation of the land and the Amerindian tribe. Through the use of symbolism, language and repetition the brutality of colonization is conveyed. Symbolism is used to portray the harsh reality of colonization. 

This early environment figures prominently in her poetry and fiction. As a child, she attended Montego Bay High School for Girls, where she excelled in her studies and founded a school literary magazine. She also began to contribute articles for The Daily Gleaner, the major newspaper on the island. After high school, Olive was traveling to Wales to study journalism for a period, and then attended Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. Senior did received her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. In 1980 several of her poems appeared in the influential poetry collection Jamaica Women. During this time, Olive started to write the beginning of her first short stories. Senior has been a guest lecturer and writer-in-residence for both the Caribbean and North America. Senior started working as a freelance writer and researcher too, as the editor of the Jamaica Journal during 1982 to 1989. 

Over the years, Olive has received several awards for her work She’s received awards, first at the Institute of Jamaica Centenary Medal in 1980, second the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1987, third the Silver Musgrave Medal for Literature in 1989, and last the F. G. Bressani Literary Prize on poetry in 1994. Most of Senior’s works focus on the confusion occuring when she was young and felt that she is never truly understood. Senior experienced residing in both living the country and city life, she comes in contact with poverty and wealth. Most of Seniors settings is based in Jamaica. Her stories revolve around the conflicts between the societal race inequality, modernism and class ranking, and cultural roots. For this week's assignment, I chose to discuss the work of Maya Angelou, Ezra Pound, and Olivia Senior. I chose these people because when I read about their works from the past week's assignments, I noticed the different usages of literary devices and themes frequently through all of the works. All of their works have incorporated connections with societal issues.      

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