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Compare two poems written by Maya Angelou -'Still I Rise' and 'Life Doesn't Frighten Me'.

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Introduction

Coursework Mark Jenkins 10JC Maya Angelou Poetry Comparisons. I am going to compare two poems written by Maya Angelou. These poems are - ' Still I Rise ' and ' Life Doesn`t Frighten Me ' I will first write a brief overview of each poem, starting with ' Still I Rise ' Still I Rise has seven stanzas, each with a definate rhyme scheme of ABCB, with the endings of the second and last lines rhyming. The Poem is written to be read with one voice, whcih carries strength throughout the verse, yet still manages to seem bitter and angry at the same time. The poem starts in the past tense, and seems to flow through time, ending in the present tense. The last line in each stanza contains ' I Rise ', and i think that this emphasis the title, and the struggles that the writer faced in this poem. ...read more.

Middle

With this one voice, I think that she may be celebrating the abolition of slavery, when she says how the slaves were transported, and how they were treated like dirt in the hulls of ships. they would only see the black in the hull, and the black of night if they were allowed out. The last verses however, i think depict her joy at being set free, and to be classed as an equal citizen. Angelou talks about oil wells, gold mines and diamonds in the poem. Blck slaves were put to work in these places, and also oil and diamond mining was big business back in Africa and the middle east, where the slaves had come from. This may have been a way of remembering her ancestors and family back home in Africa, and wishing that she could be back with them rather than working for nothing but a few sadistic, selfish, arrogant slave owners. ...read more.

Conclusion

From stanza six onwards however, the poe, takes a change in rhythym, and the pattern of the stanza changes with the second and last lines ending in rhyme. The last stanza is the most inportant I think. When Angelou repeats the line ' Not at all ' , I think that this repetition is to reinforce what she is saying, almost to help her to believe her own words if she doubts them. The short, sharp layout gives a sense of impact in the poem, and the whole poem is written to be read in the way of a little girl`s voice. The nding of the poem is not particularly surprising or thought provoking, although the change in pattern and rhyme makes me think that the writer may have been in some distress, and possibly in denial. There is no heavy punctuation throughout the poem, just the occasional and obligatory full stop or comma to allow the reader to breathe. ...read more.

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